The City of Cranston

Search the City Directory

About Cranston

Cranston FAQ

For all school-related issues, please call the Cranston School System at (401) 270-8000 or click here to visit their website.

1. Where did my homestead exemption go?
2. Why did I receive more than one bill?
3. Why do I have four envelopes enclosed in my tax bill?
4. What is lockbox processing?
5. How can I pay my tax bill with a credit card?
6. What are the tax rates in the city and when do I pay my taxes?
7. This year, I received a tax bill. In the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters, in the area entitled "total due this quarter", there is no figure. Why is that?
8. How are motor vehicle taxes assessed?
9. I am a new homeowner. How do I receive my real estate and sewer bills?
10. I am having financial difficulties. Is there an alternative to quarterly installments?
11. If I go beyond the due date of the quarterly tax, is there a grace period?
12. My bank pays my real estate taxes; what happens to my bill?
13. I applied for a building permit and I had to stop at the Tax Collection Office. Why?
14. What happens if I bounce a check when attempting to pay my taxes?
15. I have a block at the Registry on my registration. What do I have to do?
16. I have a business in the City and I have been told I cannot renew my business license. Why?
17. Under what circumstances is interest waived on delinquent (past due) taxes?
18. I was late in paying my quarterly tax. Please explain how my interest was determined.
19. What tax exemptions are available to residents of Cranston and Rhode Island?
20. When is trash pickup in the city? What happens to trash pickup when there is a holiday in the middle of the week?
21. Where can I get marriage licenses, dog licenses, copies of my birth certificate, etc.?
22. Where can I find the current bid openings from the city and what is the process for awarding contracts?
23. Where is the animal shelter and does the shelter have animals available for adoption?
24. Where would I go to get a building permit, fishing permit, gun permit, etc.?
25. Where are the libraries in Cranston located and what services do they offer?
26. What services are offered to senior citizens in Cranston?
27. What services are available for the youth in the city?
28. Whom would I contact if I had a question or concern regarding city affairs?
29. What types of community events are held in Cranston?
30. What types of sports/recreation facilities are available to the people of Cranston?
31. How would I register to vote or change my voting address?
32. Where do I go to get my VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) verified?

1. Where did my homestead exemption go? [ ^ back ]
Legislation was passed in May of 2003 that removed the homestead exemption and implement property tax classification. The property tax classification system effectively reduces the tax rate to residential properties to the equivalent to the homestead exemption.

2. Why did I receive more than one bill? [ ^ back ]
The reason that more that one bill is sent out to the same person is because each plat/lot is considered separate and cannot be combined. Different tax types cannot be combined together on one bill (ex: You cannot receive your sewer bill combined with your real estate bill).

3. Why do I have four envelopes enclosed in my tax bill? [ ^ back ]
The city uses a lockbox system of processing tax payments, and it is necessary to standardize the envelope size to lower processing costs by including them with your bill.

4. What is lockbox processing? [ ^ back ]
This processing system is a service that is done directly with the city's banking institute to accept payment directly through a post office box located in Providence, RI. This service allows a direct method of depositing your payments into our bank.

5. How can I pay my tax bill with a credit card? [ ^ back ]
By telephone please call toll free, at 1-866-727-2859. To make a payment on-line, go to Pay Taxes Here.

6. What are the tax rates in the city and when do I pay my taxes? [ ^ back ]
The tax rates in the city are as follows:


Real Estate (Residential): $22.84/$1,000 in assessed value
Real Estate (Commercial/Industrial): $34.26/$1,000 in assessed value
Motor Vehicle: $42.44/$1,000 in assessed value
Inventory: $0/$1,000 in assessed value
Tangible Property: $34.26/$1,000 in assessed value

The first quarter or full payment for the 2014/2015 is due July 15, second is October 15, third is January 15, 2015, fourth and final installment is due April 15, 2015. Id a quarter should fall on a weekend or holiday, the due date will be the next business day. Taxes may be paid by mail.

Send payments (with bar coded tax stubs )click for sample to:
Tax Collector
City of Cranston
PO Box 1177
Providence, RI 02901-1177

All other payments and those requesting a receipt (with a self addressed, stamped envelope) send to:
Tax Collector
City of Cranston
869 Park Avenue
Cranston, RI 02910

7. This year, I received a tax bill. In the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters, in the area entitled "total due this quarter", there is no figure. Why is that? [ ^ back ]
Any tax with an annual amount of $50.00 or less is paid once, in full in July. If the quarterly amounts have zeros on the stubs, then there are no further payments due. The first quarterly amount would also be the entire balance of the bill. If there were other payments needed, the quarterly amounts of each stub would have a figure.

8. How are motor vehicle taxes assessed? [ ^ back ]
Motor vehicle taxes, which are issued in the current year, are for registrations of the previous year. You must notify the Registry of any change in registration, name and/or address, as they in turn provide the City with the information needed in order to issue the tax on motor vehicles.

9. I am a new homeowner. How do I receive my real estate and sewer bills? [ ^ back ]
If at any time during the year you should have any questions with regard to your taxes, please contact the Tax Collection Office at 780-3333. Original four-part bills are sent out to homeowners once a year in June. However, the name on the tax roll is determined by December 31st of the previous year.
New Homeowners should file this form with the tax collections department as soon as possible. New Homeowner Form

10. I am having financial difficulties. Is there an alternative to quarterly installments? [ ^ back ]
Yes. The Tax Collection Office does provide for an installment payment plan, whereby the taxpayer can pay their taxes monthly during our fiscal year. Please contact our office for further details.

11. If I go beyond the due date of the quarterly tax, is there a grace period? [ ^ back ]
You have a five working-day grace period from each due date, post-marked accepted.

12. My bank pays my real estate taxes; what happens to my bill? [ ^ back ]
If your bank is holding an escrow account on your mortgage to pay your real estate taxes, they are requesting your bill directly from us and it has been forwarded to them. If you receive your bill directly, please forward it on to your mortgage company, listing your loan number on the bill. If you should ever have any questions as to whether they have the correct information, please contact your mortgage company directly. The Tax Collection Office will always be happy to answer any questions as to whether a mortgage company is current in paying your real estate taxes.

13. I applied for a building permit and I had to stop at the Tax Collection Office. Why? [ ^ back ]
In order for our office to clear a routing slip from the Building Inspection Office, a taxpayer must be completely current on all taxes due. If they are not, at the time the routing slip is presented to Tax Collection, the taxpayer may pay all delinquent taxes at that time.

14. What happens if I bounce a check when attempting to pay my taxes? [ ^ back ]
Whether a check is simply returned once or cancelled altogether, there is a $20.00 fee, which the taxpayer is responsible for, regardless of who is to blame for the insufficient check.

15. I have a block at the Registry on my registration. What do I have to do? [ ^ back ]
All delinquent motor vehicle taxes must be paid IN FULL by cash, money order, or a certified bank check only. Once this is done, we can provide you with a clearance to bring to the Registry, or we can call the Registry for you to remove the block.

16. I have a business in the City and I have been told I cannot renew my business license. Why? [ ^ back ]
All delinquent tangible and inventory taxes must be current before we can release a block on your business license.

17. Under what circumstances is interest waived on delinquent (past due) taxes? [ ^ back ]
The City Treasurer, following the review and authorization of the City Council, may waive payment of all or a fraction of the amount of interest or penalty due on delinquent taxes provided he or she has received satisfactory proof presented by the taxpayer that late payment is being made because of one of the following:

1. Recent death in the immediate family.
2. Hospitalization contributing to the late payment.
3. Waiver is in the best interest of the City of Cranston.
4. Hardship causing late payment.

18. I was late in paying my quarterly tax. Please explain how my interest was determined. [ ^ back ]
Interest is calculated on the unpaid balance at the rate of twelve (12%) percent per year, beginning on July 15th. Interest will be taken first before any funds are applied to the principal amount due.

19. What tax exemptions are available to residents of Cranston and Rhode Island? [ ^ back ]
Click here for more information.

20. When is trash pickup in the city? What happens to trash pickup when there is a holiday in the middle of the week? [ ^ back ]
Trash is picked up on weekdays. Each section of the city has a different trash pickup day. To find out when your trash is picked up, call the Department of Public Works at (401) 461-1000 ext. 3175.
Curbside Refuse collection
Curbside Recycling collection

In general, if a holiday falls in the middle of the week, each pickup day after the holiday is moved up to the following day.
Holiday Collection Schedule

21. Where can I get marriage licenses, dog licenses, copies of my birth certificate, etc.? [ ^ back ]
You can obtain these in the City Clerk's office. There is a $15.00 fee for all certified copies of vital statistics, such as birth certificates, death certificates, or marriage certificates.

In order to obtain a marriage license, you must also meet all eligibility requirements set forth in Rhode Island state law. There is a $24.00 fee for this license.

There is a $7.00 fee for dog licenses. Dog licenses are issued every April. In order for a dog license to be issued, a current rabies certificate must be presented.

Click here for more details on licenses.

For further information, call the helpful people of the City Clerk's office at (401) 780-3236 or go to the office in person. The Clerk's office is located on the second floor of City Hall, 869 Park Avenue.

22. Where can I find the current bid openings from the city and what is the process for awarding contracts? [ ^ back ]
Bid openings can be found in the Purchasing Department and online here. The process for awarding contracts begins with a bid schedule, which is a form indicating a specific department's need for an item worth $1,000 or more. Specifications for the item are then written, and a legal advertisement is placed within the local newspaper. Next, the vendor must pick up the specifications in the Purchasing Department. The bids are then submitted in sealed envelopes, no later than 4:30 p.m. on the opening date. At a meeting of the Board of Contracts and Purchasing, bid proposals are announced and subject to review by the requesting department. At the next meeting the award is granted, and the vendor is informed through an award letter.

For more information, visit the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Room 300, Cranston City Hall, 869 Park Avenue or call 780-3150.

23. Where is the animal shelter and does the shelter have animals available for adoption? [ ^ back ]
The Cranston Animal Shelter is located at 920 Phenix Avenue, and it offers a number of services. The shelter provides a lost-and-found pet system through which pets are reported either missing or found. The shelter keeps detailed records on all pets reported missing or left at the shelter. Every effort is made to reunite owners with their pets. The shelter provides crucial information that will increase their chances of finding their pets, and it provides the owners with free posters to advertise their lost pets. Any Cranston resident who is unable to obtain the services of a veterinarian and who wishes to have his/her deceased pet removed or a sick pet euthanized, may make arrangements with the shelter.

Every April, the shelter holds a rabies clinic where people can get low cost rabies vaccinations for their dog or cat. The Cranston Animal Shelter also provides an adoption program for people who wish to provide a home for a homeless animal. Any dog or cat that is adopted through the Cranston Animal Shelter is given a certificate for a free visit to a veterinarian along with a discounted spay/neuter certificate. State law in Rhode Island requires that all pets adopted from animal shelters be spayed or neutered.

For more information on the Cranston Animal Shelter, click here..

The new Office hours for the shelter are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM and on Saturday, 11am to 3pm.

You can contact the animal shelter through the following numbers: (401) 464-8700 or (401) 942-2211.

24. Where would I go to get a building permit, fishing permit, gun permit, etc.? [ ^ back ]
The city requires constituents to obtain permits in order to receive various privileges. This is a list of common permits and where they can be obtained:

Blasting ... Fire Prevention Bureau
Building ... Building Inspector
Fishing ... City Clerk
Gun ... Bureau of Criminal Information
Liquor License ... Committee on Safety Services, City Clerk

25. Where are the libraries in Cranston located and what services do they offer? [ ^ back ]
The City of Cranston has six libraries located throughout the city. The Central Library is located at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road. There are a number of things available to be borrowed from the libraries. In addition to books, audio and video cassettes, compact discs, and software may be borrowed.

All six libraries have computers available for use. The Central Library has IBM and Macintosh computers available for public use in the computer lab. Complete Internet access is availible at all library locations. Internet, CD-ROMs, on-line databases, and print indexes may be used to research a broad range of topics. The library has an extensive program geared towards children. There are a variety of different programs based on the child's age. For more information call (401) 943-9080.

Click here for the locations of all the Cranston libraries.

26. What services are offered to senior citizens in Cranston? [ ^ back ]
The Cranston Department of Senior Services provides comprehensive services to all Cranston seniors and their families. Our programs assist, inform, entertain, and enrich the lives of individuals fifty-five years of age and older.

The Senior Center is located at 1070 Cranston Street, Cranston RI 02910. If you have any questions or concerns please call (401) 461-1000 ext. 6000 or fax (401) 946-5909.

Click here for details on programs offered within the center.

Another feature of Senior Services includes the Louis Feinstein Alzheimer Day Care Center, located at 25 Brayton Avenue, Cranston RI 02910. The Center is designed to meet the sensitive needs of individuals and families facing the challenges of advancing Alzheimer's disease. A compassionate and caring specially trained staff provides medical, nutritional, emotional, and physical supervision and support, while encouraging each person to be as independent as is prudently possible. Health monitoring, Hospice services, nutritional supervision, personal care, and therapeutic activities are just some of the specialized services offered by the Center. For further information, please call (401) 946-9220.

27. What services are available for the youth in the city? [ ^ back ]
The City of Cranston has many programs geared to the youth of the city. There are youth sports leagues, playgrounds, summer day camps, sports camps, and a new youth center.

There are youth sports programs for a number of sports, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. Some programs are for children as young as 4 years old while others are for those up to 18 years old.

The city also has a number of playgrounds. They are called Tot Parks, and they are fenced-in areas with apparatus designed for toddlers and elementary school-aged children. There are 33 throughout the city.

The Department of Parks and Recreation runs a number of summer programs for the youth of the city. There is the six-week summer playground program for children ages 6-to-12. This program runs Monday-Friday during July and August and offers a wide variety of activities for the children. There are also a number of sports camps run by Parks and Recreation during the summer.

Also, the city recently opened the 19,000 square foot Community Youth Center. It is located on Gansett Avenue, adjacent to Bain Middle School. This center is geared towards adolescents and teens, and serves as a place to go after school and on weekends. The center offers recreation and entertainment, as well as educational, social, and community service programs. The Center also offers homework assistance, access to computers, and counseling.

For further details on youth activities, along with general info on parks and recreation, click here..

28. Whom would I contact if I had a question or concern regarding city affairs? [ ^ back ]
If you have a question, concern, or request relative to any community service such as snow plowing, street lighting, pot hole repair, increased police patrolling, unleashed dogs, minimum housing, traffic signage, or sidewalk/ tree-related issues to name a few, the city's Director of Constituent Affairs, Jeffrey Barone is available to serve you. Contact her at 869 Park Avenue, Cranston RI 02910, tel. 780-3123.

29. What types of community events are held in Cranston? [ ^ back ]
The City of Cranston has many events for the community. Some are run by the city itself while others are run by different organizations. Some of the biggest are:

The Memorial Day Parade (Memorial Day)
Gaspee Days Festival and Parade (Early June)
St. Mary's Church Feast (late July)
Santa Maria diPrata Feast (beginning of August)
Greek Festival (first week in September)
CVS/Cranston Senior Games (mid-September)
Cranston Fall Harvest Festival (late September)
Cranston Historical Society's Craft Show (early October)
Cranston Veterans Day Parade (early November)
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (early December)

30. What types of sports/recreation facilities are available to the people of Cranston? [ ^ back ]
The City of Cranston has a wide variety of sports and recreation facilities located throughout the city. There are: 25 baseball fields, 19 basketball courts, 13 soccer fields, 11 softball fields and 24 tennis courts. There is also an outdoor swimming pool that is open during the summer, and there are 7 tracks of varying distances. Cranston's bicycle path, which opened autumn, 1999, provides a 4.5 mile link in the network of statewide bicycle paths.

Permits are required to ensure the use of ball fields and tennis courts. All other recreational facilities are available to any Cranston resident. Special rules and regulations are posted.

For more general info on Cranston's sports/recreation facilities, click here. For specific locations or for information on getting a permit, call (401) 780-6170 Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

31. How would I register to vote or change my voting address? [ ^ back ]
To register to vote or to change your voting address contact the Board of Canvassers at (401) 780-3126.

32. Where do I go to get my VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) verified? [ ^ back ]
Go to the VIN Station located at 929 Phenix Avenue. Available Monday thru Friday from 9am until 2pm. No appointment is necessary. Vehicle must be 10 years old or newer. Fifteen dollar ($15.00) check or money order only. Additional questions (401) 780-3266.

^ back to top