When we eliminated the reimbursement aid program for the motor vehicle taxes in 2010, we saw a lot more of our less affluent Rhode Islanders paying excise taxes, Senator Pichardo said. If were going to make people pay this tax, we need to make sure its fair for everyone. To me, it doesnt make a lot of sense to base these taxes on retail values if you would receive less for a trade-in. Feedback from my constituents has also led me to believe that one month is not enough time to appeal an issue with a tax statement. Obviously, I think its important to point out that this bill would provide some taxpayer relief in the process, but ultimately, were also building a more equitable system.
Senator Pichardos bill (2014-S 2148), if enacted, would also extend the appeal period from 30 to 45 days. The law would take effect on Jan. 3, 2015.
In 2010, the $133-million aid program designed to reimburse municipalities for exempting the first $6,000 in value of a motor vehicle was eliminated. Cities and towns were then given the option of reducing the vehicle tax exemption to $500 to balance the significant cut in aid. Some communities chose to cut the exemption to $500, while only a few others were willing to foot the bill and keep the $6,000 exemption.
Cosponsors of the bill include Senators Paul V. Jabour (D-Dist. 5, Providence), Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence), Frank A. Ciccone III (D-Dist. 7, Providence, North Providence) and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence). The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Representatives K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) sponsor similar legislation (2014-H 7066, 2014-H 7130) in the House.