Cumberland residents getting car tax refunds; Lincoln’s mailed out

Cumberland residents getting car tax refunds; Lincoln’s mailed out

In Lincoln, last of reimbursements sent out this week

Nearly every resident of Cumberland will receive some type of car tax reimbursement, either in the form of a corrected bill or refund, said Tax Assessor Ken Mallette Jr. this week.

In Lincoln, reimbursement checks have all been prepared and the last small batch of checks was set to be mailed out Monday.

Mallette put the percentage of Cumberland car taxpayers expected to receive a refund at “99.9 percent,” because, he said, he never likes to say 100 percent.

The town has updated its car tax bills in compliance with the recently enacted state budget, which calls for a reduction in most motor vehicle tax bills.

Officials will be sending out notices to taxpayers informing them of the difference in the balance due in the month of December. Because of third quarter payments being due next Thursday, Nov. 30, they’re asking residents to check their balance online prior to mailing a payment into the tax collection office.

To check the balance on a bill, residents will need several pieces of information, which can be located on the original tax bill. Residents’ cooperation is greatly appreciated, say officials. Refunds for those who have paid their bill in full will begin to be generated and mailed next month.

All of this is necessary because the town sent out car tax bills well before state car tax changes were even proposed, said Mallette.

Unfortunately, because Cumberland offers a 2 percent discount if residents pay their car tax bill in full (over $100) by May 31, the town needed to have its software vendor write special programs, meaning there was a delay in getting final information into the system until the end of October, said Mallette.

Representatives from the tax office asked the council to approve abatements on car tax bills at the beginning of November so they could start giving refunds for those who have paid in full.

Officials had the task of figuring out exact numbers on both state changes and the 2 percent discount, said Mallette.

About 74 percent of town taxpayers have already paid their car tax bills. The town’s total car tax levy, or amount collected in taxes, is about $5.6 million. The state changes in car taxes, pushed by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, brought a combined $500,000 refund to all residents, said Mallette.

Individual reimbursements vary widely. Someone with an older car might have their car tax bill go to zero, while someone with a new car would see their bill go down 5 percent.

Because Cumberland had a delay in getting all information to the state, the state delayed its car tax reimbursement back to the town.

“If we’re giving money out, I want to make sure we have the money to give,” said Mallette.

While those who have paid already will get “some sort of reimbursement,” said Mallette, corrected bills would go out to those who haven’t yet paid their car taxes in full.

Changes at the state level including dropping National Automobile Dealers Association clean retail values on cars by 5 percent and making every car older than 15 years non-taxable.

Lincoln Finance Director John Ward said officials in that town produced 3,718 refund checks totaling $155,005. A note was included with each check to explain the reason for the refund. It reads as follows:

“November 2017.

Enclosed is your refund check for motor vehicle taxes. The state of Rhode Island changed the law to provide tax relief and your vehicle tax was overpaid as a result. If your vehicle is over 15 years old it is no longer taxable. Also, the new tax calculation was based on 95 percent of the book value assigned by the state, so if you paid your bill in full, that 5 percent reduction is reflected in this check.

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

Town of Lincoln.”

Comments

Would be nice if North Smithfield would do that ! Cost me $4200.00 in taxes on my 10 year old motor home ! Talk about thievery !!!!!!!!!!