Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Tax Assessment so High?
The values are based on market sales during the last revaluation. The market value of the land is added to the replacement cost new less depreciation of the improvements, and this total is compared to recent sales of similar style homes in comparable neighborhoods.

What do the codes mean when I review my Real Estate Data?
The sketch notations are as follows:

BAS – First Floor
BSM – Basement
CRL – Crawl Space
CTH – Cathedral Ceiling
EFP – Enclosed Frame Porch
FAT – Finished Attic
FEP – Finished Enclosed Porch
FGR – Frame Garage
FHS – Finished Half Story
FOP – Open Porch
FUS – Finished Upper Story
PTO - Patio
TQS – Three Quarter Story
UFA – Unfinished Attic
UST – Unfinished Utility Storage
WDK – Wood Deck

Is the Assessor In?
If the Assessor is in he/she will try to help answer your questions or contact you by phone as soon as possible.

Do I qualify for an Exemption?
Call 728-2400 ext. 158 or 159 to get specific qualifications.

How do I report changes to my property?
Changes to any improvement should be done only with the issuance of a building permit. Visit the Building Official’s Office on the second floor of Town Hall or call 728-2400 ext. 146.

How do I appeal my Real Estate Value?
Appeal forms are available on the website or in the Tax Assessor’s Office. You must file by August 31. The Real Estate appeal deadline is August 31 and no exceptions can be made – RI General Law 44-5-26.

Who values my Motor Vehicle?
The presumptive values of most motor vehicles are determined by the Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Value Commission whose members are appointed according to Rhode Island General Law 44-34-11.

How do I appeal my Motor Vehicle Value?
You must appeal your Motor Vehicle Value through the Vehicle Value Commission. Appeal forms can be obtained online or in the Tax Assessor’s Office. The completed forms must be returned to the Tax Assessor who will forward all appeals to the Commission.

What if my vehicle was Sold/Stolen/Transferred/Junked?
If you depose of a vehicle by any means, (sale, transfer, theft, collision, junked, etc.) you must cancel the registration to avoid further taxes. Please obtain a TR-3 form from the Registry of Motor Vehicles upon cancellation of the registration. When a registration is properly canceled, the taxes for that registration will stop as of the date of cancellation (see RI General Law below). However because the Excise Tax is billed for the prior calendar year, you may receive up to two (2) more tax bills for this registration.

How do I change my Motor Vehicle address if I move out of Cumberland?
Address changes must be made at the Registry of Motor Vehicles as well as the Cumberland Town Hall. If you move to a different municipality within the state of Rhode Island, you will be billed by the municipality you were registered at as of December 31st. If you move out of state, your former municipality will bill you for only the time your vehicle was registered in Rhode Island. Mailing addresses are generated by the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you do not change your address with the DMV you may not receive your tax bill for your vehicle. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are paying local taxes on your vehicle, regardless if you receive a tax bill. If you become delinquent on your taxes, you will not be able to renew your registration without obtaining a stamp from the Tax Collector stating that all taxes are paid.

Additional information
Rhode Island General Law 44-34-2 Assessment - Valuation - Proration - Abatement and cancellation - Exemptions from tax (d) If during the calendar year of proration, the owner of a vehicle or trailer subject to the excise moves permanently with his or her vehicle to another state and cancels his or her registration in this state and returns the registration plates, the vehicle shall be exempt from excise for the ensuing year.