Tax Collection Division
Late Payments and Delinquent Accounts
Please make every effort to keep your tax and water/sewer payments current. It is far easier to make regular quarterly payments than to fall behind, and have to make large lump sum payments that represent taxes and/or charges for one, or more, years. Please be aware, that the City has used, and will use, the following remedies at its disposal to collect late and delinquent payments:
a) Penalty for Late Payment: If tax and water/sewer payments are not made by the dates indicated on the bills, the entire unpaid balance is deemed due and payable, and subject to an annual penalty rate of 12%. There is a 7 calendar day grace period from due date.
b) Income Tax Refund Offset Program: East Providence participates in the Rhode Island Income Tax Refund Offset Program. East Providence provides a list of its delinquents to the Division of Taxation for “any outstanding liability” which can include property tax, motor vehicle taxes, municipal water or sewer fees, or other such debts. Before issuing a state personal income tax refund to a taxpayer, the Division of Taxation will check the list to see if the taxpayer has a delinquency on record with East Providence, and will withhold all or some of the refund until the delinquent balance is reduced to zero.
c) Tax Lien Sale: Under the provisions of Rhode Island General Laws §44-9, East Providence has a tax lien on property that is delinquent in taxes and water/sewer charges and fees. According to that law, East Providence may advertise and take, or sell, any real estate liable for the delinquency, in a manner directed under §44-9. East Providence holds an annual tax sale on delinquent properties, usually in the spring. A list of properties included in the tax sale is available from the Tax Collection Department one week prior to the sale and posted online.
d) Water Shutoff: Rhode Island General Laws §45-48-6 allows East Providence to shut off water to any house, building, tenement or estate in the case of non-payment of any water/sewer rates, charges or penalties for water supplied to, or used by, owners, tenants or occupants. Additionally, East Providence will not supply water again to the turned off location until either all past due payment amounts are brought current, or under certain qualifying circumstances, an acceptable payment plan between East Providence and the location owner is both developed and adhered to.
e) Collection: Periodically, the City of East Providence will turn past due accounts, especially those involving tangible property, over to a collection agency. If you are contacted by a collection agency on behalf of East Providence, and are unsure about the legitimacy of that agency, please contact the Tax Collection Division at 401-435-7544 for confirmation.