Major RI cities and towns delaying car tax bills

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — With the Rhode Island House set to vote on phasing out the unpopular car tax, several cities and towns are holding off on sending out bills to residents.

The budget proposal scheduled for a vote Thursday includes $26 million to cover the first year of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s six-year plan to eliminate the car tax. The $9-billion proposed tax-and-spending plan is for the new fiscal year that starts July 1.

Residents typically receive their car tax bills in late June or early July – so if the car tax phaseout becomes law, communities would have to either send out revised bills or credit people if they already paid.

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said a delay of a few days would prevent a lot of unnecessary paperwork.

“Even if it is just a week, we don’t want someone to have paid something that they don’t need to pay, which we then have to credit,” Avedisian said Monday.

The mayors of Pawtucket and Johnston have also decided to delay sending out car tax bills, until the budget vote.

“Rather than issuing vehicle tax bills now, and potentially overcharging taxpayers, the city will not send out its bills until later this summer,” Pawtucket spokeswoman Lauren Greene said in a statement. “This will allow for accuracy and fairness in billing and eliminate the possibility of overcharging and subsequent refunds, which would cost additional money to issue and would be an inconvenient process for residents.”

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza told lawmakers earlier this month he would also delay tax bills in order to take into account the car tax phaseout.