John Fike

    Town of Colchester

    Property / Tax Specialist

     The Town of Colchester is seeking qualified applicants for the full time position of Property / Tax Specialist. Qualified applicants must be highly motivated, detailed oriented, organized and possess strong math skills. Applicants must be able to work independently and with others. Strong customer service skills are a requirement. Duties will include work in the Clerk/Treasurer’s office and Assessor’s Department including recording of vital records, tax bill generation and collection, tax exemptions, property inspections, property data compilation, analysis and reporting.

    Submit town application, cover letter and resume to Sherry LaBarge, Human Resource Manager, P.O. Box 55, Colchester, VT 05446 or email to October 29, 2014 or open until filled.  For a full job description and application go to   E.O.E


    The next VALA Bi-Monthly Meeting HAS BEEN CHANGED to Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at the Randolph Town Hall in Randolph, Vermont. 


    If you were unable to attend VALA’s Annual Meeting below are some of the highlights:

    98 VALA members attended the Annual Meeting in Bethel, Vermont.


    • Approved recommended slate of officers.
    • Approved By-Law changes.
    • Approved Audit Report.
    • Approved Treasurer Report and the $6,000 operating budget for 2014-2015.                                                                                     AWARDS:
    • Special Service Award was given to Carol Hammond, Vernon Lister for her 12 years of service as VALA Secretary!
    • Winner of the complimentary 2015-2016 membership pre-registration drawing was given to Millie Kimball and the town of Chittenden.
    • Calcutta Game Cabot Cheese Basket winner was Karen Galayda from Corinth.
    • Co-Lister of the Year Award for 2014 was presented to John Fike and Penny Allyn from Reading, Vermont.


     The mission of the VALA Education committee is to offer multiple educational opportunities which will enhance the understanding of the assessment profession throughout the State of Vermont.

    Throughout the year Listers/Assessors have had multiple opportunities to attend appraisal courses, workshops, and webinars at reasonable prices in many different locations throughout the State of Vermont.

    VALA sponsored a 2-day workshop IAAO 155 Workshop on Depreciation analysis. This course was held on October 22nd – 23rd 2013.

    In addition the Education Committee prepared a 2.5 day workshop IAAO 452 Fundamentals of Assessment Ratio Studies. It was to be held on August 18th – 20th. This workshop was canceled due to low attendance. The committee will hold this workshop on November 5 – 7, 2014 in South Burlington, Vermont. VALA members get a $40.00 discount to attend this workshop.

    This past April the Town Officers Education Conference (TOEC) was held in Burlington, Killington and Lake Morey. Workshops specific to Lister’s interest were presented by the VALA education committee, NEMRC and PV&R. TOEC offers many other hour long workshops for Listers, Clerks, Planners, Treasurers and other municipal officials.

    Each year Property Valuation and Review offers a number of courses and workshops related to the appraisal of real estate and assessment policies. These appraisal workshops and courses put on by PV&R often are part of the Vermont Appraiser Certification program. Getting a VT Appraiser Certification will provide proof of your expertise in the field of real estate assessment to others.

    PV&R recently offered Lister Training workshops, Data Collection, and IAAO courses. These educational programs can be found at the

    Several times a year NEMRC and Microsolve webinars are offered to keep Listers updated with changes to the software.

    John Vickery, Chair Education Committee

    Randy Viens, Essex Assessor
    Appointed by VT Governor Shumlin to The Current Use Advisory Board

    This Board membership consists of the Commissioner of Taxes, Director of the Division of Property Valuation and Review, Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, and the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation,

    Eight additional members to be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Two of these members shall represent the private agricultural sector; two shall represent the private forestry sector; one shall be experienced in agricultural and forestry property appraisal and valuation techniques; one shall be a representative of local government; one shall be a select board member; and one shall be a Lister. Fifty-one percent or more of the Board membership shall be persons who do not own enrolled land, and have no spouse, child, or parent who owns enrolled land.

    The purpose of this board is to encourage and assist the maintenance of Vermont’s productive agricultural and forest land, prevent the accelerated conversion of these lands to more intensive use; to achieve more equitable taxation for undeveloped lands; to encourage and assist in the preservation and enhancement of Vermont’s scenic natural resources; and to enable the citizens of Vermont to plan its orderly growth in the face of increasing development pressures in the interests of the public health, safety and welfare.

    The Board also is responsible for setting the Current Use Values for forest and agriculture lands.

    Town memberships – 100

    New member towns –  30

    New and/or returning members –  88

    Total memberships –  264

    Professional members –  13

    Revenues current membership year –  $5,185.00

    Penny Allyn, VALA Membership Chair

  • #949 (no title)
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