Overview of Rhode Island Taxes
Rhode Island has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The state’s average effective property tax rate of 1.65% ranks as the 11th highest in the country.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Rhode Island Property Taxes
Buying a home in Providence? Newport? Woonsocket? If so, you’ll want to understand Rhode Island’s property tax system so that you know what to expect on your first property tax bill. (You’ll also probably want to take a look at our Rhode Island mortgage guide for information on rates and details about getting a mortgage in the Ocean State.) Rhode Island has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The state’s average rate of 1.65% ranks as the 11th highest in the country, and in some parts of the state it is even higher than that. Below, we will review key Rhode Island property tax rules every homeowner should know and look at rates from around the state.
Looking to calculate your potential monthly mortgage payment? Check out our mortgage payment calculator.
Rhode Island Property Tax Rules
Property taxes in Rhode Island are administered entirely at the local level. Each city or town sets its own tax due dates, its own tax rates, and its own system of property assessment. However, there are some state guidelines that every locality must follow.
Property taxes must be based on the market value of a property. To that end, cities and towns are required to fully revalue the property in their district once every nine years, and to do statistical updates to assessed value every third and sixth year. Homeowners who disagree with their assessed value have 90 days from the date their first payment is due to file an appeal with their local assessor.
Tax rates apply to that assessed market value. (Except in Block Island, where assessed value is equal to 80% of market value.) There is no statewide homestead exemption, but many cities offer an exemption or lower rates on owner-occupied properties.
Rhode Island Property Tax Rates
Cities and towns in Rhode Island set tax rates to pay for things like schools, parks and law enforcement. Tax rates are expressed in dollars per $1,000 of assessed value. So, for example, a rate of $20.00 is equal to $20 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed value.
The table below shows the average effective rate across Rhode Island’s five counties. Average effective rates make it easy to compare tax rates in areas with different property tax rates or with different methods of taxation. Effective rates are calculated as median annual property tax divided by median home value. They represent the amount a typical homeowner will pay as a percentage of his or her home’s market value.
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Rhode Island’s largest county by area and by population, Providence County has the second highest effective tax rates in the state average. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 1.81%, as compared with the state average of 1.65%.
In the city of Providence, the total tax rate on owner occupied property is $18.80 per $1,000 in assessed value. For non-owner occupied property, the rate is significantly higher, at $31.96. Providence last updated assessed values in 2015, and it will fully revalue property in 2018.
Property taxes in the city of Providence are due in four annual installments, on the 24th of July, October, January and April. If any single payment is late, the balance for the entire year becomes due immediately, and interest charges apply retroactively. In other words: it’s important to make payments on time.
On average, Kent County has the highest effective property tax rate in the state of Rhode Island. The county’s average effective rate is 1.82%.
The county’s largest city is Warwick, which has a population of about 81,500. The total tax rate in Warwick is $20.24. The city does not provide any homestead exemption or other type of benefit for owner-occupied residences. Property taxes in Warwick are due on the 15th of July, October, January and April of each year.
Washington County is the southernmost county in Rhode Island and is located along the Atlantic Coast. While the county’s average effective tax rate is below the state average, at 1.33%, annual tax payments for many homeowners in the county are quite high. The median annual property tax in Washington County is $4,191, nearly double the national average.
Newport County encompasses three of Rhode Island’s largest islands, including Aquidneck Island. The city of Newport is the largest city in the county, and was once home to the summer houses of presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
The total residential tax rate in Newport is just $11.21 per $1,000 of assessed value. Seniors, veterans, widows of veterans, the blind and other disabled persons may be eligible for exemptions in Newport. Taxes in Newport are due on the 5th of August, November, February and May.
The median property tax paid by homeowners in Bristol County is $5,099 per year. That is the highest in the state and 51st highest in the U.S. (out of more than 3,100 counties). The county has relatively high home values, which contributes to the high taxes. The median home value in Bristol County is $330,000.
In the city of Bristol, the total rate is $14.92 per $1,000 of assessed values. Properties in the city were last fully revalued in 2016, which means the next full revaluation will be in 2025.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites