Providence City Council Passes 2020 Budget Which Brings Back the Homestead Exemption
Providing Relief for Providence Homeowners
Tonight, the Providence City Council passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget at their regularly scheduled meeting. The budget ordinance was signed by Mayor Jorge O. Elorza immediately following tonight’s Council Meeting.
The FY 2020 budget includes a tax levy ordinance that brings back a homestead exemption (in addition to other exemptions like senior, widow, veteran, etc.) The levy is a flat tax rate of $24.56/per thousand along with a homestead exemption of 40%. Below is the formula to find your proposed tax rate:
(Assessed Property Value – 40%) x $24.56 ÷1,000 = FY2020 Property Tax Bill
“I again want to express my thanks to the Committee on Finance, the Council’s finance team, Council staff including the Clerk’s Department, the Internal Auditor’s department, and the Treasury Department for their hard work during this process,” stated Council President Sabina Matos. “With the budget in the rear view mirror, that work continues, and I know that we are ready for the challenges that lay ahead. I look forward to continuing working with Mayor Elorza and my Council Colleagues on the many issues that face our city, especially around education, housing, and pension reform.”
In addition to the homestead exemption, the City offers several other exemptions for residents to help provide tax relief where applicable. To register for these exemptions, you must contact and fill out the appropriate paperwork in the Tax Assessors Office. The Tax Assessor is located on the second floor of the Providence City Hall at 25 Dorrance Street in Providence.
Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Councilman John J. Igliozzi stated, “It’s important for our residents to know what is available to them to help mitigate their property tax burden. By bringing back the homestead exemption, we are putting everyone, regardless of where they live, on equal footing. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Committee and on the Council to move our City forward and to address the fiscal issues that we face head-on.”
Below is a complete list of exemptions, in addition to the Homestead Exemption, that residents may be eligible for:
- Elderly Exemption: Any person 65 years of age before December 31 or any person 62 years of age before December 31 and receiving Social Security Retirement Benefits are eligible for this exemption. The maximum exemption is $27,181. One must live in their home to be eligible for this exemption.
- Social Security Exemption: Any person Certified through Social Security Administration to be 100% disabled who owns and lives in their home are eligible for disability exemptions. The maximum exemption is $26,543.
- Service Disability: Any person 100% service connected disabled certified by the Veterans Administration who owns and lives in their home are eligible for a service disability exemption. The exemption is $16,330.
- Blind Exemption: Any person who is certified blind by his or her physician will be eligible for the blind exemption. One must live in their home to be eligible for this exemption. The maximum exemption is $48,989.
- Veteran Exemption: Any person honorably discharged from a recognized conflict, widow of a veteran or gold star parent, POW, in accordance with R.I.G.L. 44-3-4) shall be eligible for a veteran exemption. There is no form for the Veterans’ Exemption. Applicants need only submit their DD214 (discharge form). The maximum exemption is $8,138.
- Indigent Exemption: Rhode Island General Law 44-3-3 (16) states, any person deemed impoverished may request relief from taxes. To qualify for consideration, you must reside in the home for an entire calendar year. Provide the Assessor’s Office with any and all documents to substantiate your request. Come to City Hall for a further interview, if necessary.
“Many residents have told me that they were unaware that the City offers several different exemptions for homeowners,” stated Vice-Chairwoman of the Committee on Finance and Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. “These exemptions are in place to help the most vulnerable among us, and it is important that we share these with our neighbors. As we move into the new fiscal year, I look forward to working to help keep our City in good fiscal shape. We have much work to do around pensions, spending, and education – but we are up to the challenge.”
The State of Rhode Island also offers property tax relief through their Form 1040H. The refund is calculated based on the amount by which property taxes (or rent) exceed a percentage of the household income. The maximum refund is $300. You must be at least 65 years of age or older, or disabled. You must have been domiciled in Rhode Island for the entire calendar year. Your household income must have been $300K or less. You must have lived in a household or rented a dwelling that was subject to property taxes. You must be current on property tax and rent payments due on your homestead for all prior years and on current installments. You can find the tax form at www.tax.ri.gov/taxforms/personal.php
In addition to the exemptions listed, residents have 90 days to appeal their current tax bill from the date the first payment is due. Residents may appeal their assessment if they feel that their home is overvalued (assessed value is more than the fair market value as of December 31 of last year); disproportionately assessed in comparison with other properties; classified incorrectly as residential, commercial industrial or open space, farm or forest; illegal tax partially or fully exempt; modified from its condition from the time of the last update or revaluation. To appeal tax bill residents can do so online by visiting the Tax Assessors website or by mail.