§44-27-5  Classification of open space land. –


Published: 2015

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TITLE 44

Taxation

CHAPTER 44-27

Taxation of Farm, Forest, and Open Space Land

SECTION 44-27-5



   § 44-27-5  Classification of open space

land. –

(a)(1) An owner of land may apply for its classification as open space land on

any assessment list of a city or town by filing a written application for that

classification with the assessor of the city or town, not later than thirty

(30) days before nor later than thirty (30) days after the date of assessment,

except in years of revaluation when the landowner may file not later than

thirty (30) days after receiving written notice of revaluation or in its

absence after receipt of the tax bill. The assessor shall determine whether the

land is open space and, if the assessor determines that the land is open space,

the assessor shall classify the land as open space land and include the land as

open space on the assessment list.



   (2) In order to maintain this classification, each year

thereafter, the landowner shall submit to the assessor a certificate, on a form

prescribed by the assessor, confirming that the land is still open space. The

assessor shall in the first notification mail the forms by first class mail not

later than the thirtieth of November and if a second notification is needed, it

shall be mailed certified. Failure to submit the certificate by thirty (30)

days after the date of assessment is construed as voluntary withdrawal of the

classification; except that the assessor may waive this requirement for good

cause.



   (3) Notwithstanding the preceding subdivision, whenever the

owner of land designated and classified as open space land is a municipal land

trust, municipal conservation commission, or private nonprofit land trust,

annual certification is not required, and the classification continues until

the voluntary withdrawal of the classification by the owner, or the transfer of

the land by the owner is fee simple.



   (b) An application for classification of land as open space

land shall be made upon a form prescribed by the assessor and shall present a

description of the land, a general description of the use to which it is being

put, and any other information that the assessor may require to aid him or her

in determining whether the land qualifies for that classification.



   (c) Failure to file an application for classification of land

as open space land within the time limit prescribed in subsection (a) of this

section and in the manner and form prescribed in subsection (b) of this section

is considered a waiver of the right to that classification on the assessment

list.



   (d) Any landowner aggrieved by: (1) the denial of an

application filed in accordance with the provisions of subsections (a) and (b)

of this section by the assessor of a city or town for classification of land as

open space land; or (2) the use value assessment placed on land classified as

open space land by the assessor; has the right to file an appeal within ninety

(90) days of receiving notice, in writing, of the denial or the use value

assessment with the board of assessment of review of the city or town. Should

the city or town not have a board of assessment review, the city or town

council shall review the appeal. The assessor shall be given the opportunity to

explain either his or her refusal to classify the land or the assessment placed

on the classified land. The board of review or city or town council shall also

consider the testimony of the landowner and the city or town's planning board

and conservation commission, if they exist. They shall also seek and consider

the advice of the office of state planning, the department of environmental

management, the dean of the college of resource development and the

conservation district in which the city or town is located.



   (e)(1) The board of assessment review, or city or town

council, shall not disturb the designation of the director issued pursuant to

subsection (a) of this section, unless the tax assessor has shown by a

preponderance of the evidence that that designation was erroneous.



   (2) The board of assessment review or city or town council

shall render a decision within forty-five (45) days of the date of filing the

appeal. Decisions of the board of assessment review, or city or town council,

may be appealed to the superior court pursuant to the provisions of §

44-27-6.



History of Section.

(P.L. 1980, ch. 252, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 73, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 247,

§ 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 339, § 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 303, § 1; P.L.

2013, ch. 430, § 1.)

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