Cumberland fire tax bill deadline is Saturday

Cumberland fire tax bill deadline is Saturday

CUMBERLAND – A reminder for Cumberland taxpayers: Fire taxes are due this week.

Taxes may be paid in full by this Saturday, July 15, or paid quarterly as indicated on bills sent by the Cumberland Fire District. The first quarter payment is also due by Saturday.

While this year’s tax rate of $1.91 per $1,000 assessed value is a decrease from last year’s $2.12, Diane Karolyshyn, business manager, said that some properties, particularly smaller homes, may have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in their assessed values after a revaluation in town, increasing their tax bills.

“(The tax rate) is lower than last year, but when you look at the total picture, for some people, their fire tax went down because their house lost value,” said Cynthia Ouellette, who serves as chairwoman of the Cumberland Fire Committee.

Karolyshyn could not immediately supply the average homeowner’s tax bill expense.

The Cumberland Fire District is in its second year of quarterly taxes. Ouellette said the department had already received payments in full from some residents as of last week. Karolyshyn said in the past, the fire district has seen more than 50 percent of taxpayers submit full payments up front.

“We decided last year when we were comparing the tax rate...to go to quarterly payments to help ease the burden, because that’s what people were requesting,” she said.

The quarterly payment system, she added, “can ease the burden of that whopper of a bill, if they have a whopper of a bill.”

Those funds support this year’s operating budget of $7,958,297, a $378,000 increase from last year’s $7,580,233 approved expenditures.

The current tax levy, or total amount to be collected in taxes, is up 4 percent at $7,423,711, a $283,837 increase from last year’s levy.

Karolyshyn said the Rhode Island Department of Revenue suggested that as a new entity the consolidated fire district begin creating reserve accounts for emergencies and raise the levy over the next couple years.

The department has other forms of income, she said, including fire prevention income and interest from late payments.

Cumberland residents are advised that taxes unpaid by the due date will be subject to a 12 percent penalty.

“The Cumberland Fire Department is more than willing to work with people if they’re struggling with their taxes, but they have to contact the tax office,” Ouellette said.

“There’s a price that we also incur as a result,” she said of delinquent taxes.

Online payments can be made at www.RIeGov.com , or mailed to the Cumberland Fire District Tax Collector at 3502 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI 02864.

For more information, email tax@cumberlandfire.org or call 401-658-1921.