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I moved to Rhode Island in November 2016 from California. I…

I moved to Rhode...

I moved to Rhode Island in November 2016 from California. I just received my 2018 Motor Vehicle Tax invoice for my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee for the total amount of $558.38. I never had to pay this tax in California since I already paid a sales tax when I purchased my vehicle used. Isn't this "double taxation?" If it is, isn't this "illegal?"

Accountant's Assistant: Have you talked to a RI lawyer about this?

No

Accountant's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

You're my first communication concerning this

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Answered in 14 minutes by:
6/23/2018
emc011075
emc011075, Tax adviser
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3,979
Experience: IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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HI. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

It is not a sales tax, it is a personal property tax and only few state have it. CA does not have personal property taxes on vehicles or boats, but RI does. It is similar tax you pay on your house or property you own. The tax is collected by country or city and used to pay for local services, roads repairs and such.

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Here's an article from last year discussing the issue in more details: http://www.rifuture.org/ri-motor-vehicle-tax/

Many new england states have some type of personal property taxes. Washington on the west coast also has personal property tax. The tax is based on the value of the vehicle. Than each town or county apply specific percentage, usually between 1 - 3% to calculate car tax. The more expensive car the higher the property tax.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Well, it's an expensive tax that I can't afford on a social security income but thank you for your quick response.

You're welcome. I do not like it either (I live in CT). At least we do not have local taxes based on income like some midwest states has. I believe CA has some type of local or school district taxes which RI does not have.

emc011075
emc011075, Tax adviser
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Calif personal property tax is based on 1.025% of the sales price of the home wherein in RI it's based on tbe "assessed value". Plus, under Calif Prop 13, property tax increases are capped at 2%/year. I much prefer taxes based on the sales price b/c tax rolls are instantly updated whereas assessed values are not updated annually and fall short. The homeowner gets hit with an increase notice several years after an assessment is on record and it often times is a painful hit to the homeowner.

The first year is usually based on the purchase price or assessed value, whichever is higher. Than it 70% of the blue book value. In CT we have something called Mill rate that is applied to the assessed value of the property or vehicle to determine. It goes up or down depending on city budget and financial needs. Towns with better school usually have higher mill rate.

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