BI-MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING MINUTES JANUARY 9, 2008

MINUTES OF THE
VALA DIRECTORS MEETING

JANUARY 9, 2008

The meeting was called to order
by President Galen Mudgett at 9:00 a.m. with 30 present as follows:

Ed Clodfelter Calais Washington

Tom Vickery Stowe Lamoille

Bill Johnson PV&R

Cheryl Tudhope Orwell Addison

Michelle Wilson PV&R

Robert L. Sanborn Chelsea Orange

Carlton e. Domey Cabot Washington

Mimi Burstein Bethel Windsor

Phyllis Newton Vernon Windham

Mark Paulsen Colchester Chittenden

Randy Viens Essex Chittenden

Peter Whitney St. Johnsbury Caledonia

Bruce Shields Eden Lamoille

Lyle K. Morrison Grafton Windham

Al Jerard Brattleboro Windham

Lisa Truchon Lincoln Addison

Paul Wildasin Woodstock Windsor

Clarissa Holmes Hartford Windsor

Ted Andress Hartford Windsor

John Wetzel Fairlee Orange

Frank Partsch PV&R

Roger Kilbourn PV&R

Camilla Roberts Rockingham Windham

Priscilla Robinson Warren Washington

Chris Miele NEMRC

Louise Ferris-Burt Bethel Windsor

Todd LeBlanc S. Burlington Chittenden

Pat French Randolph Orange

Galen E. Mudgett, Jr. Sharon Windsor

Carol Hammond Vernon Windham

_____________________________________________________________________________

A motion was made by Randy
Viens to accept the minutes of the November 7, 2007 meeting. The
motion was seconded and passed.

The Treasurers report was read
by Louise as follows, and accepted as read.

Balance 10/31/2007 $ 3,960.27

Dues
Received $ 60.00

IAAO
Course Registrations (7)
3,150.00

Expenses 0.00

Ending Balance 01/04/2008
$ 7,170.27

_______________________________________

A/R on IAAO Course to date
(7)
$3,150.00

Two more registrations due
from Portsmouth, NH (2) 900.00

Total interested in course
to date 16

Total memberships paid to date
for 2007-2008 122

PV&R—Bill Johnson

Bill reported on staffing of
vacant positions—Mark Paulsen will be replacing Dave Bolton.

Michelle Wilson has filled
Terry Knight’s position. She has been a Lister in Royalton for
approximately 6 years and a fee appraiser for 6 years.

Re-introduced were Frank Partsch
who has been on board for a while in the job formerly held by Charlene
Lathrop and Roger Bourne the District Advisor for the Burlington area.

Things have been quiet in Montpelier
but now that the Legislature is back in session that will soon change.

The income tax proposal of
funding education will be looked at again. The Current Use Task
Force concluded that the program is good and working well with no recommendations
for revisions. Problems are mainly on the administrative side
with inadequate staffing.

NEMRC—Chris Miele

CAMA upgrades/updates will
hopefully be built in by March, 2008 so that everyone will be on the
same version. A database is being built as each town gets the
upgrade.

Testing has been done in a
couple of towns to make sure that the new and old executable costs are
running the same. The “check in-check out” feature
has been improved since the 8.3 version.

Cost table issues—the Marshall
& Swift cost tables on their CD doesn’t match the manual.
Ernie Saunders is working on the 2007 cost tables to match them to the
manual.

Ernie is also working on the
licensing procedure for Microsolve, so that there doesn’t have to
be a separate license for each computer.

Problems with commercial properties
were discussed. Bill said that Charlene Lathrop and Stearns Allen
will be having training classes on commercial properties. Terry
Knight will be working with Michelle to bring her up to speed on education
and training program which will include training in different levels
of CAMA and report writing out of CAMA.

EDUCATION—Todd LeBlanc

The IAAO income course will
be offered the last week of February. 20 are needed to break even;
to date there are 16 interested in taking the course. The group
was reminded that the money allotted by the state to each town may be
used for this course.

Todd LeBlanc and John Vickery
will be holding a workshop on gas station valuation at the spring TOEC
meeting.

It was noted that the Vermont
Appraisal Institute website would be a good place to advertise the upcoming
income approach class.

Louise reported that there
have been a large number of “hits” on the VALA website, mostly from
Vermont, but from a variety of other states as well.

LEGISLATIVE—Galen Mudgett

Galen noted that since Mark
Paulsen will now be working for the State, a replacement will be needed
on the Legislative Committee.

Act 185—Implementation Issues—a
hearing will be held on January 9 and Galen will be testifying along
with Steve Jeffrey representing VLCT, and several others from the Municipal
Clerks and Treasurers Association, Vermont CPAs and Vermont Bankers.

Because the whole issue has
become an accounting nightmare which has increased the workload on Listers
and Treasurers, it is a good probability that more changes will be made—perhaps
even going back to sending the rebate/prebate checks directly to tax
payers rather than the towns. Last year, the money was mailed
directly to the towns for distribution but this year the money will
be sent to the school districts.

At the September 5, 2007 VALA
meeting it was decided and voted that since Act 185 has nothing to do
with assessment of property, VALA does not have a stand on it.
However, since the additional workload generated by this Act does affect
Listers, it was felt that VALA should take a position. It was
also felt that it would be beneficial for VALA to be represented at
the Treasurers/Clerks Association Annual Meeting and Treasurers and
Clerks should be represented at VALA’s Annual Meeting.

It was moved by Tom Vickery
and seconded that VALA take a position on Act 185, that Listers recommend
giving back to property owners the rebate/prebate checks. Motion
passed.

Galen will be testifying that
VALA feels that there are serious problems with Act 185 implementation
that need to be addressed, and that one possible solution is to resume
sending the prebate/rebate (state tax payment) checks back to the taxpayers.

CURRENT USE: The Current
Use Task Force will meet on January 10, 2008. There will be no
recommendations for changes except for “housekeeping”.
There followed a fairly lengthy discussion as to the abuses of the program
as well as the task force’s view that it needs no change. One
of the main concerns of Listers is that this policy is driving up costs.
People are willing to pay more for land that can be enrolled in Current
Use, thereby skewing property values. Tom Vickery
has spent a lot of time researching the inequities caused by the Current
Use program and is willing to continue if VALA is interested in trying
to present them to the Legislature with the goal of changes to the program.

It was moved by Mark Paulsen
that VALA support Tom Vickery to go before the Ways and Means Committee
to show abuses in the program as well as possible solutions. The
motion was seconded and passed.

Comments were made that PV&R
policy regarding equalization is fairer than before.

Randy Viens referred to a statute
change as to how CLA is to be calculated in a reappraisal year.
That is that if the CLA comes in at less than 100% during a reappraisal
year, it will be questioned by PV&R and adjusted to 100%.
Phyllis Newton moved that VALA support the change to the Statute as
written.

The motion was seconded and
passed. The exact wording is as follows:

AN ACT RELATING
TO 100 PERCENT COMMON LEVEL OF APPRAISAL AFTER TOWNWIDE REAPPRAISAL.

It
is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec.1. 32 V.S.A. ¤ 5406 (c) is amended to read:

(c) If the director of property valuation
and review certifies that a municipality has completed a townwide reappraisal,
the common level of appraisal for that municipality shall be equal to
its new grand list value divided by its most recent equalized grand
list value, for purposes of determining education property tax rates;
but in the case of a townwide reappraisal which adjusts the value of
only one year’s grand list, the common level of appraisal under this
subsection shall be no less than 100
percent.

The next meeting will be held
Wednesday, February 6, 2008 in Randolph.

With no more business to conduct,
the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Hammond

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