Many merchants accepting credit or debit cards are willing to pay the fees charged by credit card companies in order to provide that service to its customers. As a municipality, we do not have the option of paying those fees since we must collect the full amount of the tax bill. Therefore, when a taxpayer uses a credit card, the fees must be charged over and above the amount of the bill being paid.
A convenience fee is charged for processing each debit or credit card transaction as payment to a third party credit card processing service provider for accepting and processing the payment. The fee also covers the cost of the operation of a system for accepting card-based payments. This convenience fee is charged directly to the taxpayer as a separate charge on their cardholder statement. The fee amounts to 3% of the payment amount or a minimum of $2.00. No part of the convenience fee is paid to the Town of South Kingstown.
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When your Real Estate taxes are escrowed as part of your mortgage, your mortgage company will typically contact the Town directly to request a copy of your tax bill on your behalf. The Town provides tax information to escrow agents electronically, and only upon request. Once this request is made, your tax bill is sent directly to your lending institution. If you escrow your taxes and you receive a copy of your tax bill in the mail, you should provide the bill directly to your lending institution.
If you have questions as to whether or not a lending institution will me making payment on your behalf, you should contact your lending institution or mortgage service provider for verification.
Real Estate taxes are assessed to the owner of record as of December 31st of each year for the current calendar year. As a result, the hard copy of the tax roll will always display, in printed form, the owner of record as of December 31st of the prior year, regardless of changes in ownership.
Although your name may not be printed on the hard copy of your property’s current tax bill, your new ownership has been recorded accordingly in all property databases, and will be reflected in the printing of the upcoming tax roll.
You can view the ownership record on your property using the Assessor’s Database (via Vision).
Please refer to the “Due Dates and Penalties” page.
Any effective grace period is established in the annual Tax Resolution, as enacted by the Town Council.
The 2023 Tax Resolutions state, in part:
“If the first installment or any succeeding installment of taxes is not paid prior to the first (1st) day of the next calendar month following the last date of the respective installment period or periods as they occur, then the whole tax or remaining unpaid balance of the tax as the case may be, shall immediately become due and payable and shall carry until collected a penalty at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum from August 1, 2023 for real and personal property taxes, and motor vehicle excise tax as allowed by the laws of the State of Rhode Island. Upon payment of any and all delinquent quarterly installments together with interest accrued on the full unpaid balance of the tax, the right to pay the remaining taxes on the installment basis will be reinstated.”
To view the full 2023 Tax Resolutions, click here.
Quarter 1 – Due August 1 (Delinquent after August 31)
Quarter 2 – Due November 1 (Delinquent after November 30)
Quarter 3 – Due February 1 (Delinquent after February 29)
Quarter 4 – Due May 1 (Delinquent after May 31)
A late notice is generated in an automation if any tax or sewer payment installment is past-due after the conclusion of a grace period. Once an installment is past-due and an account transitions into a delinquent status, the full remaining balance on the account is listed as due on any late notice correspondence.
If you believe that you have received a late notice in error, please do not ignore the notice – we strongly encourage you to contact the Tax Collector’s office for assistance.
Please refer to the Grace Periods and Penalties sub-heading on the “Due Dates and Penalties” page.
If you choose to mail a payment, the Tax Collector’s office will honor a postmark in consideration of timeliness. The postmark must be from the United States postal service; we will not honor the purchase-date of self-applied postage. If you intend to mail payment and you are concerned about meeting a deadline, we encourage you to bring your envelope to the post office and have the envelope postmarked in-person; if you leave an envelope in your local mailbox, there is no guarantee that the post office will stamp the postmark in same-day processing.
The Tax Collector’s office will not accept any post-dated checks. If we received a post-dated check, depending on the date on the check, we will either process the payment at the time of receipt, or return the check to the payment’s originator.
Please refer to the “Billing Periods Covered” page.
If your motor vehicle registration renewal form indicates that you have unpaid taxes due in the Town of South Kingstown, or if you received a notice from the RI DMV indicating that you have a Tax Block in the Town of South Kingstown, you cannot complete your registration because you must pay outstanding motor vehicle taxes owed prior to registration eligibility.
Once a payment is successfully processed, an electronic release is sent to the RI DMV on behalf of the taxpayer. While releases are sent from the Town of South Kingstown immediately upon processing a payment, the RI DMV can take 24-48 hours to process a release, so please allow the DMV two business days to process your block removal.
Your Motor Vehicle tax bill is informed by the time in which your vehicle had an active registration as reported by the RI Registry of Motor Vehicles. Motor Vehicle taxes reflect the period that the vehicle was registered during the previous calendar year (January 1-December 31). Therefore, you may receive a bill for a car you no longer own, as the taxes on a motor vehicle’s registration are one year in arrears.
Taxation on a Motor Vehicle will continue as long as a given vehicle’s registration is active with the RI DMV. Furthermore, your tax bill will be issued by the municipality in which your vehicle is registered as of December 31 of the previous calendar year.
If you should move, you are responsible for updating the address on your vehicle’s registration. You are also responsible for cancelling your own registration with the RI DMV. Registering a vehicle in another state does not automatically terminate your Rhode Island registration.
Please refer to the RI DMV’s website for the current procedure for registration cancellation.
Cash, check, or card-based payments can be made in-person during business hours in the Tax Collector’s office. Payments via check can be sent by mail. The Town also utilizes (2) drop boxes on-site, which are checked each business day, for any payments left after-hours. Additionally, for those individuals who prefer to make payments via online banking, the Town accepts payments via BillPay (payment initiated via your financial institution).
Real Estate and Tangible taxes can also be set up on ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, by which the Town will automatically deduct a quarterly tax amount from a specified bank account. For additional information regarding automatic tax payments, please refer to the “Automatic Tax Payment Information” page.
At present, we are unable to enroll utility payments (water and wastewater) in an ACH program.
The Tax Collector’s office can accept Real Estate, Motor Vehicle, Tangible taxes, and utility payments via credit or debit card. Taxpayers have the option to pay their tax bills by major credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or Discover), or by debit card with the Visa or MasterCard logo.
Card-based payments may be made in-person or online. Online transactions require the payee to know the unique correlating account number and pin number for a given account, information which is located at the top of the every tax bill and utility bill.
For online payments, please access the “Online Tax and Utility Collection System.”
Both the 2023 Real Estate tax rate and the Tangible/Personal Property tax rate is $11.05 per thousand of assessed value for residential and commercial property.
Retail and Wholesale Inventory is exempt from assessment as of December 31, 2006.
R.I. Gen. Laws § 44-7-7 (“Collection of Taxes Generally”) states the following:
“Failure by the Tax Collector to send or failure by the taxpayer to receive a notice shall not excuse the nonpayment of the tax or affect its validity or any proceedings for the collection of the tax.”
Real estate, Motor Vehicle, and Tangible tax bills are available and mailed in the first week of July. If you do not receive a bill, please contact the Town of South Kingstown Tax Collector’s Office to request a copy. You can also use your account number and account PIN to electronically retrieve a copy of your most-current tax bill.
Tax bills, both current and prior, can be retrieved electronically via the “Online Tax and Utility Collection System.” In order to log into the portal, you will need your unique tax account number and your account PIN. Please note that each tax account type – real estate, motor vehicle, and tangible – has a different account number.
If you have a prior tax bill to reference, you can find your account number, PIN, and log-in instructions on the top right of the face of the bill. If you cannot locate this information, you can call the Tax Collector’s office directly, and we can supply you with your account number and PIN.
For additional information and options, please refer to the “Copies of Bills” page.