[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Charlestown 8-14-1984 as Ch. 136. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Tax assessment — See the Charter, Art. XXIII.
Taxation — See Ch. 192.
There shall be a Commission of Tax Assessment Review consisting of three (3) members appointed by the Council for a term of three (3) years, of which no more than two (2) shall be of the same political party. The members first appointed shall serve for the term of one (1), two (2) and three (3) years respectively.
Each appointed member shall hold office on the Commission until his successor is appointed and qualified.
Vacancies on the Commission which may occur in the appointed membership of the Commission, for any reason whatsoever, shall be filled by the Council for the unexpired term.
The members of the Commission of Tax Assessment Review shall have been, at the time of their appointment, residents of the town for at least two (2) years immediately preceding and shall continue as residents during their terms of office. If a member of the Commission shall cease to be a resident, his office shall become vacant.
No member of the Commission shall hold any other public office, except that of a notary public, member of the National Guard, naval or military reserve.
A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.
The members of the Commission at their first meeting shall elect one (1) of their members as Chairman and another as Secretary and thereafter shall elect a Chairman and Secretary upon the appointment of any new member for a full term or whenever the office may become vacant.
[Added 10-13-1992 by Ord. No. 188 ]
The procedure to be followed for appeals from assessments determined by the Tax Assessor, except assessments for excise taxes on registered motor vehicles and trailers, shall be as follows:
Any person aggrieved on any ground whatsoever by any assessment of taxes shall first file an appeal with the Tax Assessor (hereinafter "Assessor") within three (3) months after the last day appointed for the payment without penalty of the tax, or the first installment thereof, if the tax is payable in installments. The Assessor shall review the assessment and file his written response within ten (10) days after receipt of the appeal. In the event that the Assessor does not file a written response within said ten (10) days, it shall be presumed that the original assessment was affirmed.
Any person aggrieved by the written response of the Assessor shall file an appeal to the Commission of Tax Assessment Review (hereinafter "Commission") within ten (10) days after filing of the Assessor's written response. For purposes of this local administrative appeal, the ten-day period shall commence on the day the written response is filed with the records of the Assessor.
All appeals to the Assessor and to the Commission shall be on forms provided by the Assessor and the Commission, respectively. A separate appeal petition must be filed for each parcel of land for which an appeal is requested.
Appeals to the Commission shall be heard and a decision rendered within ninety (90) days from the filing of the appeal. The Commission shall notify the appellant of the time and date of the hearing by certified mail to the address listed in the certified tax roll. All such hearings shall be open to the public.
[Amended 8-28-1995 by Ord. No. 203]
The appellant or his or her duly authorized representative shall appear at the Commission hearing and may present any evidence which is competent and relevant, including expert testimony. All testimony shall be given under oath and transcribed by methods determined by the Commission. An appellant may request a transcript of the hearing at his or her expense. If the appellant appears through a representative, including an attorney, a written authorization shall be filed with the Commission no later than the date and time of the hearing.
If the appellant or his or her representative fails to appear at the hearing, unless a continuance shall have been granted, the appellant shall be in default, the appeal shall be dismissed and the decision of the Assessor shall be affirmed.
The Assessor shall have the right to appear at the Commission hearing and present evidence in support of his assessment. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the appellant shall have the burden of proving that the assessment is not correct. The Commission shall have the power, after such hearing, to affirm or change any assessment; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall affect the power of the Town Council relative to tax abatements.
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing and filed with the Town Clerk as public records, and copies shall be delivered or mailed to the appellant or his or her duly appointed representative, the Assessor and the Town Administrator.
Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Commission may appeal therefrom in accordance with the procedures and time limits set forth in Title 44, Chapter 5, of the Rhode Island General Laws.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed in any way to limit or extend the right of a taxpayer to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for relief from any assessment or tax originally determined by the Assessor or subsequently by the Commission, in accordance with the Rhode Island General Laws, as amended, or any other law thereto appertaining and all amendments and additions to any such laws for relief from assessments as originally made by the Assessor.
[Amended 6-8-1987 by Ch. 158]
The Town Council may grant an abatement in whole or in part, correct an assessment or uphold the original assessment, with the exception of those assessments of registered motor vehicles and/or trailers.
[Amended 6-8-1987 by Ch. 158; 10-13-1992 by Ord. No. 188]
Taxpayers may not appeal the decision of the Tax Assessor (hereinafter "Assessor") regarding an assessment on registered motor vehicles and trailers to the Commission of Tax Assessment Review. An appeal regarding the motor vehicle and/or trailer assessment shall be made to the Assessor within thirty (30) days of the notice of valuation. The Assessor will render a decision within ten (10) days of the filing of the appeal on those motor vehicles and/or trailers whose values had been determined by the Assessor. When the valuation of a vehicle or trailer has been made by the Rhode Island Vehicle Valuation Commission (hereinafter "State Commission"), the appeal will be forwarded to the State Commission within ten (10) days of receipt of the appeal by the Assessor, and the appeal procedure as set forth in Title 44, Chapter 34, of the Rhode Island General Laws shall be followed. The Assessor shall notify the aggrieved taxpayer in writing of the Commission's decision within ten (10) days of receipt by the Assessor of the Commission's decision. Within thirty (30) days of notification of the decision of the Assessor or the State Commission, an aggrieved taxpayer may appeal the decision to the District Court serving the Town of Charlestown. A party aggrieved by a final order of the District Court may seek review thereof in the State Supreme Court by writ of certiorari.