Amid budget standoff, both Warwick, Cranston to send out car tax bills

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Mayors Scott Avedesian and Allan Fung will no longer be waiting for the proposed car tax rollback to go into effect.

They both announced Friday that their cities of Warwick and Cranston will be mailing out car tax bills. In Warwick, bills will be mailed July 21 and in Cranston, taxpayers should expect to receive them by the end of the month. Both cities will be using the existing tax formula.

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Now 14 days into the new fiscal year, Rhode Island lawmakers still have not passed a budget. This means that the first stage of Speaker Mattiello’s car tax repeal program has not officially gone into effect, even though the measure has been approved by both the House and Senate.

Should the car tax repeal go into effect when the new budget passes, Warwick said resident’s bills will be adjusted accordingly and corrected bills will be mailed.

“With the tireless help from the City’s tax department, we will continue to work to provide all taxpayers with the most up-to-date information regarding their motor vehicle tax bills,” said Mayor Avedisian. “We understand that the delay has frustrated residents, but our goal is always to act in the best interest of the taxpayers and reduce as much of the tax burden as possible. As we move through the fiscal year, we will continue to monitor this piece of legislation and the proposed tax relief it may bring.”

Cranston has yet to make a decision as to whether it will offer the vehicle owners a credit on future taxes or a rebate.

“We appreciate our taxpayers’ patience during this period of uncertainty with the state budget,” Mayor Fung said. “I know that this delay has been frustrating and makes it difficult for residents to plan their household budgets. The decision to delay the mailing was not made lightly. I have been a supporter of the car tax phase-out legislation, but as your Mayor, I have to consider all the impacts and I couldn’t accept any scenario that resulted in the city being forced to send a supplemental tax bill in the event no fiscal 2018 budget is passed.”

Warwick residents are being advised that although the first quarter due date is July 15, no interest will accrue as long as payment is made on or before August 31. Those looking to pay their bill online car do so through the city’s online payment portal.

In Cranston, the first-quarter due date has been extended to Aug. 15 and the standard grace period will still apply.

Car owners in Warwick who have questions can contact the City of Warwick tax department at 401-738-2005.