Town of Coventry, RI
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 4-25-2005 by Ord. No. 04-05-0244 (Ch. 16, Art. IV, of the 1991 Code)]
The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this article, have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ABUTTER
A neighbor whose property touches the property in question.
ACTIVELY MARKETED
Good-faith efforts by the owner of the property to obtain one or more occupants of the property. These good-faith efforts may include, without limitation, one or more of the following: (1) making substantial financial expenditures in comparison with the value of the property; (2) listing the property for sale or lease, or both, with one or more real estate brokers, for a price and on terms, or for a rental that is realistic considering the fair market or fair market rental value of the property; or (3) advertising, using one or more signs on the property and at least one other medium, the availability of the property for sale or rental for a price and on terms or at a rental that is realistic considering the fair market value or fair rental value of the property. Sporadic attempts to sell or lease the property during the privilege year may be viewed as not constituting a good-faith marketing effort.
CONTINUOUSLY UNOCCUPIED
Any property which is listed during the entire privilege year as vacant in the records of a town or town's department of minimum housing.
DEVELOPMENT PLAN
A plan to rehabilitate a vacant and abandoned property within a set time frame for a use in conformance with the Town's Comprehensive Plan.
NONPROFIT HOUSING ORGANIZATION
Any organization exempt from taxation pursuant to § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code [26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)] whose exempt purposes include the provision of affordable housing to low- and moderate-income households.
PRIVILEGE YEAR
The twelve-month period corresponding to the calendar year.
REVIEWING ENTITY
The Department of Planning.
VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTY
Any property which:
A. 
Is a building that has remained continuously unoccupied during the privilege year or a lot with no existing structure that is littered with trash and obviously abandoned;
B. 
Designation as vacant or under continuous citation.
(1) 
In the case of property containing one or more buildings used in whole or in part for one or more dwelling units immediately prior to the time the property became vacant, has been under continuous designation as vacant by the a town's department of minimum housing during the privilege year; or
(2) 
In the case of property containing one or more buildings, none of which were used in whole or in part for one or more dwelling units immediately prior to the time the property became vacant, has been under continuous citation by an agency of the Town for violation of minimum housing code provisions relating to the health or safety of citizens during the privilege year.
The Town shall impose a tax upon the privilege of utilizing property as vacant and abandoned property within the Town during any privilege year commencing with the privilege year beginning January 1, 2000, and every privilege year thereafter. The tax shall be in addition to any other taxes authorized by the general or public laws.
The Building Official for the Town shall be responsible for determining which properties are vacant and abandoned. If the Building Official determines that a building has been continuously unoccupied or vacant and abandoned during the privilege year, the Building Official shall notify the Tax Assessor and the Tax Assessor shall impose the nonutilization tax authorized by this article.
The nonutilization tax shall be removed from the property upon certification by the Building Official to the Tax Assessor that the property has been rehabilitated. Any development plan proposed by a nonprofit housing organization or an abutter pursuant to this article shall be submitted for review to the Department of Planning and must be approved by the Department of Planning prior to development.
The Tax Assessor shall abate the nonutilization tax if it is imposed in error or if a nonprofit housing organization or an abutter acquires the property for rehabilitation and submits a development plan that complies with the provisions of § 217-22B.
A. 
The nonutilization tax authorized by this article shall not be imposed on property owned by an abutter or a nonprofit housing organization if:
(1) 
The abutter or nonprofit housing organization submits a proposed development plan which has been approved by the State Housing Resources Commission or State Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation to the Planning Department;
(2) 
The proposed development plan contains a reasonable timetable for the development or reuse of the property; and
(3) 
The Planning Department determines that the proposed development plan is in accordance with the Town's approved Comprehensive Plan and approves it.
B. 
The Planning Department shall deliver a copy of the approved development plan to the Tax Assessor, who shall certify the property as exempt from the nonutilization tax.
C. 
Failure of the nonprofit housing organization or abutter, without good cause, to carry out the development or reuse of the property in accordance with the timetable set forth in the approved development plan shall result in the property being subject to the nonutilization tax as of the first date of assessment following the expiration of the timetable in the approved development plan.
D. 
The decision of the Planning Department denying approval of a development plan may be appealed as provided in § 217-25.
The tax authorized by this article shall be measured by the assessed value of the real estate at the rate of $10 for each $100 of the assessed value of the real estate as most recently returned by the Tax Assessor.
The tax imposed under authority of this article shall be due and payable in the same manner as other municipal taxes are due in the Town.
A. 
In any appeal from the imposition of the tax set forth in this article, the Tax Review Board of the Town shall find in favor of an appellant who shows that the property assessed:
(1) 
Was actively marketed during the privilege year;
(2) 
Was occupied for substantial portions of the privilege year, notwithstanding its designation by the Building Official; or
(3) 
Was exempt pursuant to § 217-22 from the imposition of the tax set forth in this article.
B. 
Nothing contained in this article shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish any other right of appeal that an appellant may possess pursuant to the general or public laws, or the ordinances of the Town.