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Poll: Should The State Change How Cars Are Valued?

A bill sponsored by State Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Warwick, Cranston) that would change the valuation process for cars is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow.


How much should you pay in taxes for your car?

The Rhode Island House Committee on Municipal Government is scheduled to consider a bill tomorrow that would change the way cars are valued — potentially saving car owners thousands of dollars.

Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Warwick, Cranston) sponsored the bill, H-7098, in response to ongoing protests over the way car values are calculated under a 2010 state law.

Currently, the state Vehicle Value Commission sets the worth of automobiles by using what's known as "clean retail value" — basically the current value of the vehicle if it were in perfect condition. McNamara's bill would require the commission to use the average trade-in price, which is typically lower than the clean retail value.

Car owners would also have 45 days — up from 30 days under the current law — to appeal a car valuation by submitting a certified appraisal from a car dealer to their town's tax assessor.

Local tax assessors would have 10 days to decide appeals, with the state value commission no longer taking that role.

What do you think? Should the state change the way cars are valued? Vote in our poll, and add your comments below.

Correction: The explanation of "clean retail value" was corrected following first publication of this article.

RON January 18, 2012 at 02:10 PM
it doesn't matter how they value the autos, they will just adjust the rate. they have to get x number of dollars.
Joe The Plumber January 18, 2012 at 02:50 PM
After they pass this legislation, every city and town will have to readjust their car tax rates higher. So, th bottom line is that people with newer cars will pay more taxes and people older cars will pay less tax.
Chris12 January 18, 2012 at 04:50 PM
We can only hope they hire the WED finance people to "figger" out the rates. It will be so tangled up we will never see another tax bill.
Still Hope January 18, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I'm gonna show you how the poor and middle class people screw themselves, ready? Let's use fake numbers: a rich man drives a $100,000 car(trade-in $80,000). a poor man drives a $5,000 car(trade-in $4,000). car tax rate is $45 per $1000. the rich man saves $900. the poor man saves $45. follow? The State, seeing the loss in revenue, ups the auto registration by $50 for everyone. The rich man still nets $850 from the new valuation, the poor man has a loss of $5. This already happened in Woonsocket with a raise in trash, water, server in lieu of property tax increases
Reality Check January 20, 2012 at 01:05 AM
My car is assessed for $11,250. I looked online and found similar cars listed for sale starting at $14,999 up to $17,999............I don't see a problem with the current system just the way it is.

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