A N A C T
RELATING TO TAXATION
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 44-5-42 of the General Laws in Chapter 44-5 entitled "Levy and Assessment of Local Taxes" is hereby amended to read as follows:
44-5-42. Exemption of certain farm property -- (a) All farm machinery, including motor vehicles with farm registration plates is exempt from taxation. Provided, that any town or city is entitled to reimbursement by the state in an amount equal to the amount levied on the value of the farm machinery in excess of the value of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) based upon assessments on December 31, 1982.
(b) Livestock and poultry which are actually and exclusively used in farming, when owned and kept in this state by any farmer or group of farmers operating as a unit, a partnership, or a corporation, a majority of the stock of which corporation is held by members of a family actively engaged in farm operations, are exempt from local property taxation; provided, that the principal means of livelihood of each farmer whether operating individually or as one of a group, partnership or corporation is derived from the farming operation. Only one exemption is allowed to each farmer, group of farmers, partnership, or corporation.
(c) All real property including all real estate, buildings and improvements on the property which is not used for a personal residence and is actually and exclusively used in farming by a qualified farmer may be exempted from taxation by the town of Richmond. For purposes of this section, a qualified farmer is an individual, partnership or corporation who operates a farm and has filed a 1040F U.S. Internal Revenue form or similar document with the Internal Revenue Service, has a state of Rhode Island farm tax number, and has earned at least ten thousand dollars ($10,000) gross income on farm products in each of the preceding three (3) years, property defined as either farm, forest or open space land, pursuant to chapter 27 of this title. Any sale of exempted land, or portion of the land, incurs at the time of sale a penalty of twice the total amount of taxes exempted. The assessed penalty is due and payable to the town of Richmond which would grant the exemption at the time of sale of the property. A sale of land to another qualified farmer or use according to this section is exempted from the penalty.
(d) Any taxpayer or owner which allows its real property to be used by a qualified owner in a manner consistent with use defined in subsection (c) may be eligible for the exemption established by this section for the duration of use by a qualified farmer. The tax assessor may prorate the exemption according to actual use. The tax assessor may require evidence of actual use, including, but not limited to, a lease, to substantiate the exemption.
(e) Cities and towns may tax farm buildings at a rate that reflects the actual costs incurred by the town in services to those buildings.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.