VALA President John Fike called the Bi-Monthly VALA Meeting to order at approximately 10:00am. There were more than 40 members in attendence.
Items of discussion were how quiet the legislature is for now…only a $70 million dollar hole in the budget. Jeff Wilson who serves on the Ways and Means Committee will sponsor a bill on the State’s sharing of cost of appeals beyond the BCA. This was H588 last year which went nowhere.
It should be noted that there was record member attendance at today’s meeting.
Bill Johnson – PVR stated that the number of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts allowed by the State has been increased to 14. Also discussed was funds available for CAMA and Grand List changes/enhancements.
There is an increase in solar installations around the state. The state will access a capacity tax on projects over 10KW, while the towns will tax at fair market value. Solar projects under 10KW will be exempt from taxation (by the State) for 10 years. There is information on the PSB website but it is not comprehensive. A certficate of public good will be needed but even if one is granted, it does not mean the project is a done deal.
Michelle Wilson – PVR presented an overview of the Lister Certification Program. A new class-Standards of Professional Practices and Ethics will be offered. Education will be offered for the Lister Certification Program with classes rotating on a three-year basis. There were concerns expressed regarding the cost of courses, especially from IAAO, as many towns do not pay for Listers to attend classes. There are scholarships available from VALA and IAAO to help with the costs. VALA and PVR need to work together on scheduling educational offerings.
General Discussion followed on land leases, cell tower assessment, the importance of knowing what a lease says, difference between real and personal property, for example: if a contract stipulates that the equipment has to be removed at some point, then it would be considered personal property.
Also discussed was Legislature’s need to revisit “what is a telephone company”. There is no uniform way of taxation.
The Veteran’s exemptions (new method) that was put in place last year seems to be working well.
The Annual VALA Meeting is scheduled for September 20, 2013 – which is the third Friday in September. Place for the meeting is yet to be determined.
Chris Miele – NEMRC reminded those present to remove flags in the working grand list. Also that there are a lot of changes in grand list procedures this year and that Listers need to attend the seminars. A reminder that the 411 needs to be sent to the State by January 15, 2013.
Meeting was adjourned at 12:05pm.
Carol Hammond, VALA Secretary