Overview of Rhode Island Taxes
Rhode Island has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. In fact, the state’s average effective property tax rate of 1.66% ranks as the tenth 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
Are you buying a home in Providence, Newport or 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. Rhode Island has some of the highest property taxes in the U.S., as the state carries an average effective rate of 1.66%. That comes in as the tenth highest rate in the country. The median annual property tax payment here is $4,013, eighth highest in the nation.
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.
A financial advisor in Rhode Island can help you understand how homeownership fits into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including taxes, homeownership, retirement and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
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 rates across Rhode Island’s five counties. Average effective rates make it easy to compare tax rates in areas with different property tax rates or 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 their 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 property tax rates in the state. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 1.81%, as compared with the state average of 1.66%.
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.
If you have questions about how property taxes can affect your overall financial plans, a financial advisor in Providence can help you out.
On average, Kent County has the highest effective property tax rate in the state of Rhode Island. The county’s average effective rate is 1.83%.
The county’s largest city is Warwick, which has a population of about 81,500. The total tax rate in Warwick is $22.24. 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 1.32%, annual tax payments for many homeowners in the county are quite high. The median annual property tax bill in Washington County is $4,226, more than 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 D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
The total residential tax rate in Newport is just $9.99 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 $5,343 per year. The county has relatively high home values, which heavily contributes to these high taxes. The median home value in Bristol County is $341,300, which is the second highest mark on a statewide basis.
In the city of Bristol, the total property tax rate on residential real estate is $15.38 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.
Places Receiving the Most Value for Their Property Taxes
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 value for their property tax dollars. To do this, we looked at property taxes paid, school rankings and the change in property values over a five-year period.
First, 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.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
Then, we calculated the change in property tax value in each county over a five-year period. Places where property values rose by the greatest amount indicated where consumers were motivated to buy homes, and a positive return on investment for homeowners in the community.
Finally, we calculated a property tax index, based on the criteria above. Counties with the highest scores were those where property tax dollars are going the furthest.