Owners of commercial, residential or investment property in Rhode Island who wish to challenge their property tax assessment(s) are reminded that significant deadlines are approaching that require immediate attention.  The first of these deadlines is January 31st.

Like many states, Rhode Island has a number of procedural hurdles to maintaining a claim for overassessment of property in excess of its fair market value.  A claim for overassessment must be made each year.  The most important deadlines are the following:

January 31st - Notice of Intention to Bring in an Account.  Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws section 44-5-15, each year that an owner wishes to appeal the property assessment, the owner must submit a sworn account identifying the subject property and stating its value as of December 31st of the preceding year.  The first step in filing an account is filing a notice that you intend to “bring in”, or file, the account.  The Notice of Intention must be filed with the assessors by January 31st.

March 1 -15 - Filing an Account.  Provided that a Notice of Intention to Bring in an Account has been filed prior to January 31st, an account stating under oath the accurate value of the property is due between March 1 and March 15 in accordance with Rhode Island General Laws section 44-5-16.  Failure to file an account each year bars a claim in that year challenging the assessment in all but a few scenarios.

Late Summer/Early Fall – Filing Tax appeal with Tax Assessor and Board of Tax Review.  A tax appeal must be filed with the tax assessor within 90 days of the deadline for the first quarterly tax payment.  Failure to file a timely appeal bars any further relief.

Appeals of Tax Assessor’s Decision.  Thirty days after an adverse decision from the tax assessor, the aggrieved owner must file an appeal with the local Tax Board of Review.  Within thirty days after the board’s decision, an appeal in the form of a complaint must be filed with the Rhode Island Superior Court.

Although the process is not difficult to understand, failure to meet any of these deadlines will likely prove fatal to an owners’ petition for relief.