BI-MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING MINUTES MARCH 04, 2009

MINUTES OF THE VALA DIRECTORS MEETING
MARCH 4, 2009

The meeting
was called to order at 9:15 a.m. by President Galen Mudgett with 28
in attendance as follows:

Mark Paulsen PV&R

Joyce Scribner Manchester Bennington

Pauline Moore Manchester Bennington

Carlton Domey Cabot Washington

Richard Lewis S.
Barre Washington

Frank Partsch PV&R

Phyllis Newton Vernon Windham

Lisa Truchon Lincoln Addison

John Fike Reading Windsor

Mimi Burstein Bethel Windsor

John Vickery Burlington Chittenden

Ed Clodfelter Calais Washington

Galen Mudgett,
Jr Sharon Windsor

Louise Ferris-Burt Bethel Windsor

Pat French Randolph Orange

Randy Viens Essex Chittenden

Cheryl Tudhope Orwell Addison

Charles Mason Pawlet
Rutland

Noel Walker Fairlee Orange

Camilla Roberts Rockingham Windham

Steve Jeffrey VLCT

Chris Miele NEMRC

Tom Vickery Stowe Lamoille

Priscilla Robinson Warren Washington

Randall Mulligan Colchester Chittenden

Valdine Hall Greensboro Orleans

Michelle Wilson PVR

Carol Hammond Vernon Windham

______________________________________________________________________

A motion was
made by Ed Clodfelter to accept the minutes of the February 4, 2009
meeting. The motion was seconded and passed.

The Treasurers
report was read by Louise as follows, and accepted as read on a motion
by Tom Vickery.

Balance
1/31/09 $5,337.74

Dues
received $30.00

Expenses
0.00

Ending Balance
3/4/09 5,367.74

Education Fund $1,000.00

General Fund
4,367.74

Memberships
paid to date
92

__________________________________________

A question
was raised as to whether a mailing is done after town meeting to acquaint
new Listers with VALA. A mailing is not done, but the VALA agenda and
minutes of the meetings are sent to each town.

It was suggested
that a brochure be developed to have as a handout at TOEC meetings.

VLCT—Steve
Jeffrey: Steve said there wasn’t much to report since
much of the legislature’s focus is Vermont’s portion of the stimulus
package. The miscellaneous tax bill has not been finalized at
this time.

2010 affordable
housing bill will probably not go anywhere this year. There is
a possibility that the State will again send out prebate/rebate checks
to the taxpayers rather than to towns or schools.

The deadline
for filing HS 122 may change again this year with a projected date of
October 15, since this is also the date for filing income taxes on extension.
Comments were made that the “fixes” by the legislature usually create
more problems than they solve. VALA needs to make a clear statement
on HS 122 and 144.

Differing opinions
were expressed as to the pros and cons of payments mailed to the town
vs. mailing checks to tax payers.

A bill to lower
veteran’s disability eligibility from 50% to 30% will probably not
get passed this year.

A comment was
made that perhaps the veteran’s exemption should be income sensitive.

Concerns were
expressed that there is no audit trail from the original 411 filed in
early June to the last one filed after the late filing deadline of the
HS 122. Chris Miele said there is a treasurer’s report that provides
information on filing and revisions.

PVR—Mark
Paulsen: A new District Advisor has come on board—Nancy Merrill
from Bethel who has a background in mass appraisal, private appraisals
as well as Lister experience. There are now a total of eight District
Advisors.

Net Book Valuation
of utilities is back on the table. Doug Lay has been working to
get information from utilities as well as the Public Service Dept on
this issue. The Tax Commissioner wants utilities to be valued
at net book, but at the same time wants the towns held harmless so that
towns with new construction should get the benefit of additional assessment
of the new construction and towns without building projects by utilities
should not lose values. Some analysis has been done, but
not information is coming forward yet because the legislature is focusing
on other things.

Alternate energy
sources—the State wanted to know how towns are assessing alternate
energy projects. Towns are not assessing them unless they are
actually selling electricity.

Lister Education—Michelle
Wilson: Michelle handed out a listing of education offerings by
PV&R, which included location, time, and cost for each class/workshop.
The schedule will be posted on the PVR website. Applications for
classes may be found on the VALA website. These may be filled
out and sent directly to PV&R. It was suggested that information
about scholarships from VALA could be included with the course schedule.

There was extensive
discussion on how the down turn in the real estate market affects values.
A question was raised about making changes in one portion within a category
of properties for one year only—could this be done under grand list
maintenance. Normal maintenance is 10-20% changes in the grand
list. Corrections to the grand list for a neighborhood or a category
would become part of the three year policy according to PVR. A
suggestion was made that perhaps the policy and/or the statute could
be changed.

This discussion
will continue at the next meeting.

NEMRC—Chris
Miele reminded Listers that the annual NEMRC seminars will be held on
March 23rd and 30th in Rutland; on the 26th
in Burlington, and the 31st at Lake Morey. Fees will
be increasing.

LISTER OF THE
YEAR—three people need to serve on the committee. Tom Vickery
moved that the Vice President serve on the committee. The motion
was seconded and passed.

ANNUAL MEETING—Due
to renovations at Vermont Tech, the Old Dorm will not be available for
the Annual Meeting. We will be able to meet in the “Pit” and
tentative dates are September 18th or 25th.

EDUCATION—John
Vickery: While there have been complaints that there doesn’t
seem to be anything for Listers at this year’s TOECs, John reminded
people that some of the workshops will be beneficial to various municipal
officials. He will be doing a workshop on record retention which
affects Listers, Clerks, Treasurers, etc. John also mentioned
that anyone with suggestions for workshop topics, to please contact
him, or if anyone is interested in teaching a workshop. The Lister
forum will be missed this year.

Other suggestions
included having a short class/workshop after the VALA meetings on topics
pertinent to Listers; and perhaps have workshops at the Annual Meeting
rather than speakers.

Also discussed
was possibility of eliminating the January VALA meeting and having meetings
in February, March, and April as that is when the Legislature is most
active.

With no more
business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully
submitted,

Carol Hammond,
Secretary

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