A: In Vermont, spouses can work together as listers on the same Board. However – if either grieves, the third lister and/or a paid consultant should be responsible for addressing and determining the grievance outcome, not either spouse.
A: The Select Board determines whether to assess the Homestead penalty in general. They can take a vote to decide whether to apply a penalty or not. For selective or hardship cases when the penalty has not been voted out, the Listers should pass the issue on to the Board of Civil Authority. It is not the Listers’ responsibility to determine who is responsible for paying the Homestead penalty.
A: Listers absolutely need to obtain permission if: a. They have been put on notice by the owner (in person or via a communication). b. If there is “No Trespassing” signage posted at the property. 2. Although 32 V.S.A. § 4041 may appear to grant you authority to inspect a property, the prudent thing to do is to obtain permission from the property owner before attempting to enter upon and inspect real estate. Do not inspect the interior of a dwelling (or any other building that would commonly or reasonably be locked – whether or not it is locked) without appropriate permission.
A: The only things in listers’ files not considered public record are personal property information, income & expense information, and inventory forms. Temporary CAMA information (such as in a reappraisal, when a property record card is still subject to change) is subject to the public records law. If you provide someone with information that is subject to change, you should note that it is subject to change on their copy of the document. (To cover your bases you may want to photocopy what you give to people so you have proof that you wrote Subject to Change on their copy.)
A: This notice needs to be posted in 5 public places (the Town Clerk’s office plus 4 others). The public places do not all have to be in your town, they can include neighboring areas that residents of your town frequent. The following examples are considered to be public places: • Town Clerk’s office (always post one here) • Grocery store bulletin board • Post Office • Outdoor public bulletin boards • Library • Gas station • Town website
A: A copy of the decision goes in the listers’ file. Attach a copy to the back of the appeal year’s GL. Change your GL value for the current year and going forward. The decision will stand for: the appeal year and the next two years UNLESS you do a reappraisal. If they make improvements, you can add the improvements but it would be wise to leave the other aspects of the valuation in line with the court or hearing officer’s decision. Accounting: Assuming the value was lowered by the decision, calculate the amount of overpayment (plus interest if applicable – see below) and then issue that as a credit against the next tax bill.
A: A: It is not the Listers’ job to teach the Board of Civil Authority to get up- to-speed on the valuation process, but it is sometimes advisable and/or necessary for towns to provide resources for the BCA. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) is a good place to start. Some towns have utilized the League’s attorneys in presenting BCA members with a seminar to explain the valuation and grievance process in order to help ensure fairness and equity.
A: 32 V.S.A. § 4261. Correcting omission from grand list. When real or personal estate is omitted from the grand list by mistake, or an obvious error is found, the listers, with the approval of the Selectboard, before December 30, may supply such omissions or correct such errors and make a certificate thereon of the fact; provided, however, the listers may make a correction resulting from the filing or rescission of a homestead declaration without approval of the Selectboard. (Amended 2005, No. 38, § 14, eff. June 2, 2005.)
A: It is up to the listers. The Division of Property Valuation & Review recommends listing to the owner of the life estate with the words "life estate" in parentheses. Also, you could list the remaining owner on line #2. Consistency is key.