Does Rhode State Law mean anything to Little Compton Elected Officials?
At the January 5, 2017 Town Council Meeting, a motion was made and approved “to place on file a letter sent by the Town Council President to Mr. Jack Crook, President of the Little Compton Volunteer Fire Department requesting a donation to the Town for $90,000 to help offset a need resulting from an extraordinary number of on-duty injuries in the first half of the fiscal year”.
Perhaps following and complying with State Law regarding the collection of delinquent taxes would be a better choice for the town than requesting donations in order to pay current fiscal year expenditures.
With hundreds of names on the delinquent tax list, does Little Compton have a plan in place to collect taxes owed? On Monday, February 13, 2017 the Town Council has an agenda update on delinquent taxes. The Budget Committee meets on Tuesday February 14th and also has a discussion on their agenda. Hopefully both Committees are familiar with the Rhode Island State Law 44-5-8.1 and they take the law seriously.
Little Compton Tax Collection, February 2017 Status:
1, There are no waiver requests in writing.
2. Many, many taxpayers do not meet the criteria for a waiver.
3. The Tax Collector has waived hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties since 2004.
A taxpayer was delinquent from 2012-2016 for a total of about $63,000 with principal and interest. On January 23, 2017, the taxpayer paid $45,000, every dime of interest, over $15,000 was waived, no request in writing…and this was a month after the Tax Collector was told not to waive any penalties.
Rhode Island Taxation
Levy and Assessment of Local Taxes
§ 44-5-8.1 Waiver of interest on overdue quarterly tax payments.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, any city or town may, by ordinance duly enacted, authorize a waiver of interest on one quarter’s overdue property tax payment and allow the remaining balance of taxes owed to be paid on a quarterly basis if all of the following conditions are satisfied by the taxpayer:
(1) The property subject to the overdue payment is the residence of the taxpayer and has been for the five (5) years immediately preceding the tax payment which is overdue.
(2) The request for a waiver of interest is in writing, signed and dated by the taxpayer.
(3) The taxpayer has made timely payments of taxes to the city or town for the five (5) years immediately preceding the tax payment, which is overdue. The burden of proof of timely payments shall be upon the taxpayer.
(4) The bill for which the payment is overdue was issued less than two (2) years prior to the date of the request for a waiver of interest.
(b) In no event shall the waiver of interest on a tax bill exceed five hundred dollars ($500). Decisions of the tax collector shall be in writing and contain a notice to the city or town council. If the taxpayer receives an adverse decision from the tax collector, the taxpayer must pay the interest and may file a claim for reimbursement with the city or town council within ten (10) days of the decision.
(c) Any request for a waiver of taxes which meets criteria established by this section pursuant to a duly enacted ordinance shall be granted by the city or town.