TITLE 44
Taxation

CHAPTER 44-34
Excise on Motor Vehicles and Trailers

SECTION 44-34-11


   § 44-34-11  Rhode Island vehicle value commission. – (a) There is hereby authorized, created, and established the "Rhode Island vehicle value commission" whose function it is to establish presumptive values of vehicles and trailers subject to the excise tax.

   (b) The commission shall consist of the following seven (7) members as follows:

   (1) The director of the department of revenue or his/her designee from the department of revenue, who shall serve as chair;

   (2) Five (5) local tax officials named by the governor, at least one of whom shall be from a city or town under ten thousand (10,000) population and at least one of whom is from a city or town over fifty thousand (50,000) population in making these appointments the governor shall give due consideration to the recommendations submitted by the President of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns and each appointment shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate;

   (3) And one motor vehicle dealer appointed by the governor upon giving due consideration to the recommendation of the director of revenue and subject to the advice and consent of the senate.

   (4) All members shall serve for a term of three (3) years.

   (5) Current legislative appointees shall cease to be members of the commission upon the effective date of this act. Non-legislative appointees to the commission may serve out their terms whereupon their successors shall be appointed in accordance with this act. No one shall be eligible for appointment to the commission unless he or she is a resident of this state.

   (6) Public members of the commission shall be removable by the governor pursuant to § 36-1-7 for cause only, and removal solely for partisan or personal reasons unrelated to capacity or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.

   (7) The governor shall appoint a chairperson from the commission's members. The commission shall elect from among its members other officers as it may deem appropriate.

   (c) The commission shall annually determine the presumptive values of vehicles and trailers subject to the excise tax in the following manner:

   (1) Not earlier than September 30 and not later than December 31 of each year, the commission shall by rule adopt a methodology for determining the presumptive value of vehicles and trailers subject to the excise tax which shall give consideration to the following factors:

   (i) The average retail price of similar vehicles of the same make, model, type, and year of manufacture as reported by motor vehicle dealers or by official used car guides, such as that of the National Automobile Dealers Association for New England. Where regional guides are not available, the commission shall use other publications deemed appropriate; and

   (ii) Other information concerning the average retail prices for make, model, type, and year of manufacture of motor vehicles as the director and the Rhode Island vehicle value commission may deem appropriate to determine fair values.

   (2) On or before February 1 of each year, it shall adopt a list of values for vehicles and trailers of the same make, model, type, and year of manufacture as of the preceding December 31 in accordance with the methodology adopted between September 30 and December 31; the list shall be subject to a public hearing at least five (5) business days prior to the date of its adoption.

   (3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require the commission to determine the presumptive value of vehicles and trailers which are unique, to which special equipment has been added or to which special modifications have been made, or for which adequate information is not available from the sources referenced in subdivision (1) of this subsection; provided, that the commission may consider those factors in its lists or regulations.

   (4) The commission shall annually provide the list of presumptive values of vehicles and trailers to each tax assessor on or before February 15 of each year.

   (d) The commission shall adopt rules governing its organization and the conduct of its business; prior to the adoption of the rules, the chair shall have the power to call meetings, and a simple majority of the members of the commission, as provided for in subsection (b) of this section, is necessary for a quorum, which quorum by majority vote shall have the power to conduct business in the name of the commission. The commission may adopt rules and elect from among its members such other officers as it deems necessary.

   (e) The commission shall have the power to contract for professional services that it deems necessary for the development of the methodology for determining presumptive values, for calculating presumptive values according to the methodology, and for preparing the list of presumptive values in a form and format that is generally usable by cities and towns in their preparation of tax bills. The commission shall also have the power to incur reasonable expenses in the conduct of its business as required by this chapter and to authorize payments for the expenses.

   (f) Commission members shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties but may be reimbursed for their reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out such duties.

   (g) The commission shall respond to petitions of appeal by local boards of review in accordance with the provisions of § 44-34-9.

   (h) The commission shall establish, by rule, procedures for adopting an annual budget and for administering its finances. After July 1, 1986, one-half ( 1/2) of the cost of the commission's operations shall be borne by the state and one-half ( 1/2) shall be borne by cities and towns within the state, with the city and town share distributed among cities and towns on a per capita basis.

   (i) Within ninety (90) days after the end of each fiscal year, the commission shall approve and submit an annual report to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the secretary of state of its activities during that fiscal year. The report shall provide: an operating statement summarizing meetings or hearings held, meeting minutes if requested, subjects addressed, decisions rendered, rules or regulations promulgated, studies conducted, policies and plans developed, approved, or modified, and programs administered or initiated; a consolidated financial statement of all funds received and expended including the source of the funds, a listing of any staff supported by these funds, and a summary of any clerical, administrative or technical support received; a summary of performance during the previous fiscal year including accomplishments, shortcomings and remedies; a synopsis of hearings, complaints, suspensions, or other legal matters related to the authority of the commission; a summary of any training courses held pursuant to this subsection, a briefing on anticipated activities in the upcoming fiscal year; and findings and recommendations for improvements. The report shall be posted electronically on the general assembly and the secretary of state's websites as prescribed in § 42-20-8.2. The director of the department of revenue shall be responsible for the enforcement of this provision.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 381, art. I, § 2; P.L. 1985, ch. 181, art. 61, § 21; P.L. 1998, ch. 31, art. 28, § 2; P.L. 2001, ch. 180, § 138; P.L. 2005, ch. 117, art. 21, §§ 1, 36; P.L. 2005, ch. 241, § 3; P.L. 2005, ch. 319, § 3; P.L. 2007, ch. 319, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 446, § 1.)