§ 28-40-14. Contributions as debt to state Lien on real estate.
(a)(1) The amount of any contributions, interest, and penalties imposed upon any employer under this chapter shall:
(i) Be a debt due to the state;
(ii) Constitute a trust fund for the state until paid to the director;
(iii) Be recoverable at law in the same manner as other debts; and
(iv) Until collected constitute a lien upon all the real property located in this state of the following persons or entities:
(A) The employer;
(B) Any officer, agent, servant, or employee of any corporate employer responsible for either the withholding or payment, or both, of the contribution; and
(C) Any person receiving any part of the fund without consideration, or knowing that the employer or any officer, agent, servant, or employee or any corporate employer is committing a breach of trust.
(2) The lien shall take precedence over any other lien or encumbrance on that property except as provided in this section. The director may file a notice of that tax lien with the records of land evidence for the city or town where that property is located and it shall be the duty of the recorder of deeds or the city or town clerk having custody of those records to receive, file, and index that notice under the name of the lienee. Any of the preceding provisions of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, the lien imposed by this section shall not be valid with respect to property in any city or town as against any bona fide purchaser, mortgagee, or lessee, whose interest in that real property appears of record in that city or town prior to the time of filing of that notice of tax lien in that city or town.
(b) The notice of the tax lien filed shall: (1) be in writing; (2) contain the name and last known address of the lienee, and (3) state that the lienee is indebted to the state under this chapter. The notice need not describe the lienee's property, or specify the amount of contributions owed, or the period of time covered by the delinquency. When the notice is filed in a city or town by the director, it shall, unless sooner discharged or released, also apply to property in the city or town subsequently acquired by the lienee during a period of six (6) years from the date of filing and that filing need not be repeated for each successive delinquency of the lienee. The notice shall expire six (6) years from the date of filing unless renewed by again filing a similar notice on or before the expiration date. The director shall be obliged to discharge or release the notice of lien when the lienee is no longer delinquent in the payment of any contributions, interest, or penalties, whether incurred prior or subsequent to the date of filing of that notice, or upon request, following the expiration of the statutory lien period, as set forth in this section.
(c) For the filing of a notice of lien or discharge of a lien, the recorder of deeds or the city or town clerk shall be paid, out of any money appropriated for expenses of the director, a fee of four dollars ($4.00) for a completed entry.
(d) The authority granted in this section to the director to file a notice of lien shall not be held to repeal or amend in any other respect § 28-39-19.
(P.L. 1942, ch. 1200, § 11; P.L. 1956, ch. 3664, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 28-40-14; P.L. 1985, ch. 281, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 94, § 1.)