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Why do so many people hate property taxes ?

Think about this: A city doesn't increase the tax levy yet thousands of property owners get tax increases. Why? If the tax levy remains the same, where does that extra money go?

Currently, Rhode Island towns must be revalued every third year. This does ensure that new owners will be fairly taxed on the market value of the property they bought. But what about everyone else?

The fact is that thousands will pay more than the levy requires and thousands will pay less. In fact, after revaluation, part of every property owner's higher tax bill will be used, not to pay for services like schools, police, fire etc., but to make up for someone else's lower tax bill, often as not, someone who has a more expensive property. Is this fair?

"That's how it has always been done", said Steve Ferreira district manager of Vision Government Soutions, Providence's appraisal company, in a Journal article. But does that make it right?

A revaluation does tax new owners fairly but does not tax existing owners fairly. When there is no revaluation, the opposite happens - existing owners pay a fair tax but a new owner simply inherits the prior owner's tax. Our current property tax system is always wrong for someone.

With a fair tax system, if the levy increases, say 3.4%, everyone would get about a 3.4% increase, exactly as happens in a non-revaluation year.

Since new owners have no prior tax bill to adjust, their tax will be based on the current assessed value of their purchase, using the rate determined the same way as in a standard revaluation year and applied only to the new owners.

Their future tax bills will then be adjusted the same as everyone else.


• Fair and reasonable taxes for everyone each and every year
• Tax bill increases are limited and predictable resulting in...
• A better business climate
• Lower revaluation costs
• Assessment reviews become unnecessary
• Revenue is unaffected - revenue neutral



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