Waterbury Municipal

Waterbury, Vermont

51 South Main
Street PO Box 9


FAX (802)244-1014

March 11, 2009

Mr. William E. Johnson, Director

Property Valuation & Review

Vermont Tax Department

133 State Street

Montpelier, Vt. 05633-1401

Dear Mr. Johnson,

At the March
4, 2009 VALA Director’s Meeting, I brought up the issue of PV&R’s
policy for grand list corrections in a down turning economy. The
issue being: if a town makes a correction in its grand list (say
a town wide lowering of the land schedule or the local cost multiplier
to reflect the down turn in market value), will PV&R consider it
as a reappraisal and change the list values in its equalization study
for the year in which it is done or for all three years?

This issue
pertains to towns which have just done a reappraisal such as Waterbury
where its recent reappraisal was based on sales of 2006 and 2007, but
sales in 2008 show a slippage in this value base. To correct this
slippage for the 2009 grand list, I could change the local multiplier
from 1.3 to 1.25 or lower the site value from $100,000 to $90,000.
Such a change would correct the 2008 sales to 100% of FMV and not 104%
as the sales are showing.

has a policy to recognize this change as a reappraisal and changes all
the list values in the 3 year equalization study (2006, 2007, &
2008 sales), the town would be penalized by an unrealistic lowering
of its CLA which would adversely impact the town’s tax rate for 2010.
If PV&R recognizes this change as a correction and only changes
the list values for the 2009 year (2008 sales) of the study, the study
does not penalize the town but reflects accurately the downturn in the
market for the time frame in which the change occurred.

This argument
goes to the State of Vermont Valuation Appeals Board’s decision in
which it decided that each year of the PV&R equalization study is
a different time frame due to the lack of a time adjustment used in
your studies. For corrections in a recent reappraisal to a different
time frame, only the list values for that time frame of the study should
be changed.

Both Mark and
Michelle attended this meeting and heard the issue as presented by me
and as discussed by other Listers & Assessors. Mark indicated
that PV&R would present PV&R’s policy on this issue at the
April VALA meeting. Your policy decision is very important to
Waterbury as it will determine whether any changes are made to the indicated
downturn in market value for the 2009 grand list.


Thomas S.

Appraiser for
the Board of Listers

51 South Main

Vt. 05676

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