JANUARY 4, 2012

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by President John Fike.  There were 36 in attendance.

A motion was made to accept the minutes of the November 2, 2011 meeting.  The motion was seconded and passed.

A motion was made by Randy Viens to accept the Treasurer’s report.  The motion was seconded and passed.

President’s comments:  John reviewed VALA’s accomplishments for the last 3 years as well as changes that should be addressed in 2012.

These changes include the revision of the by-laws, marketing of the VALA organization, and developing a president successor plan.

Bill Johnson:  There are a number of issues in the legislature that are pertinent to VALA and the municipalities.  The Supreme Court decision that income sensitivity information is confidential has raised several issues about the information that is on tax bills and in the tax book.  Bill will send out a letter to the towns clarifying this—the bottom line is that towns can’t give out adjusted amount or net billing after adjustments are made.  Listers, Town Clerks, and Treasurers will need to look at this information but not everyone in the town office will have access to it. If someone other than the property owner or their representative asks for a tax bill or the amount, the adjustment cannot be shown.

NEMRC is working on a program for redacted tax bills and tax books that are affected by the Supreme Court decision.

Current Use—presently sitting in the senate—main change will be the penalty provision.  Bill thought it would come up early in the session and should pass.

Billing and collecting of education taxes—Ways and Means have discussed having the Tax Department take this over rather than the towns.  As a result, the Lister calendar would have to be revised as well as all assessment dates and any other affected date.  At least 38 statutes would have to be changed.  VLCT is promoting this change.  The Tax Department would need to hire 34 new employees to administer the billing and collection.  Then there is the issue of delinquencies, tax sales, etc.  The State would only collect current tax bills, everything else would fall back on the towns. Much discussion followed on the wisdom of this move because of the confusion to the tax payer who would now get two bills; the difference in due dates between the state and the towns; the revenue some towns would lose because they would no longer be able to do some short term investing as a way of getting revenue to off set town budgets (which was supposed to be a perk to the towns when Act 60 was passed).

Hurricane Irene and spring flooding. There was much discussion about abatement of taxes.  The State can abate taxes and the Tax Commissioner will figure out a way to do it.

Covenant Restricted Housing:  a bill is being drafted to remove the vague wording

Legislative Current Use Committee favors a tiered approach of penalties for withdrawn land.

Sharing expenses on appeals—Rep. Dennis from Manchester has sponsored a bill for the State to share expenses with the towns on appeals.

Education—TOEC’S there will be 2 classes on sales ratio studies in January taught by Bob Estey. These will be one day classes.

There will be 3 locations for the TOEC’s—April 4th in Burlington, April 10th in Fairlee, and April 18th in Rutland.

Lisa Truchon will be helping to teach a class this year and Randy Viens also volunteered to help.

A reminder was given that January 15th is the final filing date for the 411 form.

Ed Clodfelter suggested that VALA become an affiliate of IAAO.  The cost of this is $180.00 and would give access to the IAAO library.

Ed moved that VALA become an affiliate of IAAO.  The motion was seconded. The motion passed.

Membership:  Penny Allyn reported that there are presently 145 members, 42 of which are new.  She is still working on the new website.  The newsletter has been well received and there have been new members as a result of the newsletter.

Penny will contact Listers who have previously been members to see if they would be interested in joining again.

Minutes of the meetings will be on the website soon.

By-laws—need feedback for revisions/changes

Louise talked about the post Irene Property Law Task Force that was convened by Sen. John Campbell who met in October to respond to issues raised by Tropical Storm Irene.  50 individuals from 19 different agencies and non profits were among those who met.  More information can be found at the Vermont Bar website:

One of the issues raised was tie downs for propane tanks and legislation was introduced to deal with this. It was determined that many of the issues that were raised as a result of Irene could be resolved by existing legislation.  Grant money is available for some problems.  There will be permitting issues, future action disaster plans and much more which can be found at the above mentioned Vermont Bar website.

Lister Certification—Michelle Wilson There will be 4 areas of Lister designation.  Existing Listers will be ‘grandfathered’ in.

For new Listers or anyone in the state who is acting in any capacity for ad valore  m taxation, the following designations have been suggested.

  1. Provisional—minimum level qualification—will need to take 2 classes, a.) The Basic Lister Course and b.)A choice of basic courses taught by PV&R or NEMRC.   There will be an application process and a showing of proof of education to qualify.  After finishing the provisional designation, a person can work up to the next level.
  2. Vt Property Evaluator (VPE)—a résumé will be required when applying for this designation.  An applicant must have two years of experience as an assessing official plus having taken IAAO 101, a class in the Fundamentals of Appraisal and a data collection course. Another class covering the Statutes and rules of Vermont will also be required.  Under consideration is a course in Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP).  There are 10 standards along with standardized definitions, record keeping, rules regarding ethics, departure, and scope of work.
  3. Vermont Assessor—requires 5 years of experience and with IAAO class 102– Income Approach to Valuation;  class 300—Fundamentals of Mass Appraisal; 155—Depreciation Analysis; and a state sponsored land appraisal course.
  4. Certified Assessor—5 years experience plus IAAO class 112—Income Approach to Valuation II, 452—Fundamentals of Assessment Ratio Studies, 311—Residential Modeling Concepts.

PV&R is partnering with NEMRC through Chris Miele to provide a video on the property transfer tax returns system which would allow Listers to go beyond their own towns to find sales of comparable properties, unique/weird properties, etc. in order to make their job easier.  After the video and discussion, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Hammond





Name Town County
Penny Allyn Reading Windsor
Charlie Degener Woodstock Windsor
Paul Wildasin Woodstock Windsor
Galen Mudgett, Jr Sharon Windsor
Charles Mason Pawlet Rutland
Raymond Duquette Pawlet Rutland
Linda Colby St Johnsbury Caledonia
Teresa Godfrey Brookfield Orange
David Alexander Brookfield Orange
Gussie Graves Fayston Washington
Mimi Burstein Randolph/Bethel Orange/Windsor
Sally Archer Roxbury Washington
Camilla Roberts Rockingham Windham
Terry Thayne Ludlow Windsor
Chris Miele NEMRC
Babs Lynde Westminster Windham
Phyllis Newton Vernon Windham
Bill Johnson PVR
Cathie Powers PVR
Louise Ferris-Burt Bethel Windsor
Pat French Randolph Orange
Patricia McNall Fairfax Franklin
Robin Chapman Fairfax Franklin
Noёl Walker Fairlee Orange
Randy Viens Essex Chittenden
Todd LeBlanc Burlington Chittenden
Don Sweetser Randolph Orange
Carol Hammond Vernon Windham
John Vickery S Burlington Chittenden
John Fike Reading Windsor
Ed Clodfelter Berlin Washington
Cheryl Tudhope Orwell Addison
Jean Audet Orwell Addison
Lisa Truchon Lincoln Addison
Clarissa Holmes Hartford Windsor
Michelle Wilson PVR
Thomas Vickery Stowe Lamoille




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