[Ref. of 11-7-1995; amended 11-6-2018]
There shall be a Department of the Tax Assessor, the head of which shall be the Tax Assessor, who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Town Council to serve a term concurrent with the term of the Mayor and until his or her reappointment or the appointment of a successor is approved by the Town Council. The Tax Assessor shall hold no other paid public office or employment in the service of the Town. He or she shall hold a certificate from the Rhode Island Association of Assessing Officers or shall acquire such certificate within three (3) years of his or her first appointment.
The Tax Assessor shall have the power and shall be required:
To supervise and to be responsible for the fixing of an assessed valuation for purposes of taxation upon all real estate and all taxable personal property.
To apply to or apportion upon the assessed valuation of real estate and personal property the amount of tax ordered to be levied or imposed thereon.
To make and prepare all regular and special assessment rolls and a tax roll for the Town in the manner provided by State law.
To establish a uniform and equitable system for assessing all classes and kinds of property.
To prepare tax maps and land value maps.
To give such notices of assessments and taxes and to perform such other duties as may be required by law and ordinance.
Subject to the approval of the Mayor, to employ from time to time within the limits of available appropriations, such clerical assistants and such technical consultants as may be necessary.
To cooperate with the Canvassing Authority in the preparation of the lists of electors.
There shall be a Board of Assessment Review which shall consist of three (3) members who shall be qualified electors in the Town and shall be appointed by the Town Council. The members first appointed shall serve for terms of two (2), four (4) and six (6) years respectively, and thereafter one (1) member shall be appointed in each second year for a term of six (6) years. The Town Council shall make its appointments to the Board each time within one (1) month after the members of the Town Council assume office and shall fill vacancies that may occur on said Board without delay if a member of such Board shall cease to be a qualified elector. His office shall thereby become vacant and another person be chosen to fill out the balance of the term.
The Town Council shall provide by ordinance for the organization and procedure of the Board of Assessment Review and for the manner of receiving, considering, and disposing of appeals, provided that the procedure before the Board shall be informal and of a nature calculated to effect justice in as simple a manner as possible, and provided that the requirements stated in (C) following, are observed.
The Board of Assessment Review shall hear and consider the appeals of any property owner concerning the amount of the assessed valuation as determined by the Tax Assessor. The Assessor shall attend all hearings of the Board in order to explain the valuations, but shall have no vote. The Board shall keep an accurate record of its proceedings which shall be available for public inspection. The Board shall meet on the first business day after the expiration of twenty (20) days subsequent to the date on which taxes become due and payable, and at such times thereafter as may be necessary to hear appeals. No appeal shall be considered unless it is made in writing and is received by the Board not later than three (3) months from the date the tax becomes due and payable. No appeal shall be considered by the Board unless the tax levied on the valuation appealed or such portion of the tax as is due and payable, has been paid under protest. If it shall appear that the valuation of any property has been incorrectly or inequitably assessed, the Board shall have power to change the assessment, and shall determine the correct valuation of such property. It shall be the duty of the Finance Director to make payment of any refund that may be due to the property owner.
The taking of an appeal to the Board of Assessment Review, or any action thereon shall not be construed to limit or restrict the right of any taxpayer to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for relief from any assessed valuation or tax originally determined by the Tax Assessor or subsequently by the Board of Assessment Review.