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RI Real Estate Conveyance (Transfer) Tax Rates

When a property is sold in Rhode Island for over $100 a transfer tax must be paid, usually by the seller (RIGL 44-25-1). Proof of payment is stamped on the deed so the recording clerk can see it was paid.

Starting April 1, 2007, deeds had to have the sale price written on the deed itself, which is enforced by city and town clerks who who won’t accept it for recording without the sale price.

For older sales, however, you can indirectly calculate the sale price by using the transfer tax amount on the deed and the tax rate in effect at the time: Sale Price = Tax Stamp Amount ÷ Tax Stamp Rate.

For example, if a deed recorded in 2005 has $640 written in the tax stamps area then the sale price was $640 ÷ 0.004 = $160,000. The table below lists the current and historical tax stamp rates.

Time Period Tax Rate
07/01/2014 to [today] 2.30/500 = $4.60/1000 = 0.0046
07/01/2002 to 06/30/2014 2.00/500 = $4.00/1000 = 0.0040
07/01/1989 to 06/30/2002 1.40/500 = $2.80/1000 = 0.0028
07/01/1978 to 06/30/1989 1.10/500 = $2.20/1000 = 0.0022
01/01/1968 to 06/30/1978 0.55/500 = $1.10/1000 = 0.0011
12/01/1918 to 12/31/1967 0.55/500 = $1.10/1000 = 0.0011
09/08/1916 to 11/30/1917 no conveyance tax (see note*)
12/02/1914 to 09/07/1916 0.55/500 = $1.10/1000 = 0.0011
07/01/1902 to 12/01/1914 no conveyance tax (see note*)
01/01/1862 to 06/30/1902 0.55/500 = $1.10/1000 = 0.0011

* Before Jan 1 1968, the real estate transfer tax was a Federal tax and was 0.55/500 except for two brief periods when there was no tax: 07/01/1902 – 12/01/1914 and 09/08/1916 – 11/30/1917.

Also note that the tax rate technically isn’t specified in $1000 increments but in $X per $500 of the sale price “or fractional part thereof” (see RIGL 44-25-1 Real Estate Conveyance Tax).

Sources for historical rates: RI Division of Taxation, State and Local Taxes: Significant Features (1968), and “Title Searching in Rhode Island” by Daniel J. Donovan (Oct 1987).

Filed under: Reference — Anthony Thompson @ 6:09 pm December 18, 2016

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