Current as of: 2009
(a) There are numerous vacant and abandoned properties throughout the cities and towns of Rhode Island.
(b) The existence of vacant and abandoned properties within a city or town contributes to the deterioration of its viable real estate.
(c) Vacant and abandoned properties sometimes place a greater demand on essential city or town services such as police and fire protection than do occupied properties comparably assessed for real estate tax purposes.
(d) The owners of vacant and abandoned properties do not always contribute a fair share of the costs of providing the foregoing essential city or town services financed in part by real estate tax revenues, which revenues are solely based on the assessed value of properties.
(e) Some properties are deliberately left vacant by their owners in the hope that real estate values will increase, thereby enabling the owners to sell these properties at a substantial profit without making any of the required repairs or improvements to the property.
(f) The nonutilization of property whether for profit speculation, tax benefit, or any other purposes is the making use of that property and as such, is a privilege incident to the ownership of the property.
(g) Owners of vacant properties must be encouraged to use the properties in a positive manner to stop the spread of deterioration and to increase the stock of viable real estate within a city or town.
(h) Owners of vacant and abandoned properties must be required, through a city's or town's power to tax, to pay a fair share of the cost of providing certain essential city or town services.
Questions & Answers: Property Taxes
Rhode Island Laws: Property Taxes