NBC 10 I-Team: RI demands $2,700 from Massachusetts driver

Mark Fuller, a Massachusetts resident, says he received a letter from the Rhode Island Division of Taxation demanding about $2,700 in use tax on his truck. (WJAR)

Mark Fuller moved to Massachusetts from Rhode Island almost four years ago. He bought a home, registered to vote, and registered his truck in his new town.

"We moved here in July of 2012. Been living here ever since," Fuller said.

He said he's a Massachusetts resident.

Yet more than three years after he moved, a letter arrived in the mail. The state of Rhode Island's Division of Taxation believed he was still a Rhode Island resident.

The letter demanded more than $2,700 in what's called "use tax" on his truck.

"I don't think it's right that I should have to pay Rhode Island taxes," Fuller said.

Neither did the NBC 10 I-Team, which learned the problem started at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Fuller went to the RMV branch in Milford in 2012 to get a Massachusetts driver's license. According to Massachusetts law, that meant he had to surrender his Rhode Island license, which he did.

"But apparently, the Rhode Island DMV didn't get the memo," Fuller said.

"I think someone has made a mistake, because I had turned in my Rhode Island driver's license," he said.

"Somebody wasn't doing their job."

A spokesman for the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles told the NBC 10 I-Team that the mix-up happened because Massachusetts never sent Fuller's old license back to Rhode Island.

After the NBC 10 I-Team contacted the DMV, fuller's Rhode Island record was corrected to show he left the state in 2012.

But the Division of Taxation told him that he still has to pay that big tax bill, and then have a hearing to ask for his money back.

Fuller said no way. Rhode Island sent his case to collections, damaging his credit.

The NBC 10 I-Team first reached out to the Rhode Island DMV and the Division of Taxation more than six weeks ago. Last week, the I-Team took Fuller's story to the governor's office. The state is now taking a second look at his case.

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