March 2016 Meeting Minutes (unapproved)
VALA MINUTES FOR MARCH 16TH 2016
Meeting began at 9am
VALA President was not in attendance. Vice President Camilla Roberts took over the meeting.
QUORUM: A total count of 11 county delegates and 4 board members present to make a quorum.
MINUTES – Reviewed the secretary’s minutes of February meeting. There were a few discrepancies. They were reviewed and amended minutes were made and will be posted if anyone would like to see them.
Motion was made to accept the minutes as amended, seconded, motion passed.
TOEC- Decided that VALA should be displayed at all 3 events- cost $275 to display at these events. No objection.
COMMITTEES- has been decided to only speak on the committees that have activities in action to keep the VALA meetings shorter.
NEWS LETTER- Early May will be the next News Letter. Any ideas are welcome! More office tips would be great and fun! Jeremiah would like more photos for the news letter.
WEBSITE- no suggestions…. looking good!
COUNTY OUTREACH- Val Almosnino took county list and broke them down to make sure all information is correct. Only two counties have responded to Val’s email. Please respond to his emails.
Washington County- Towns in his county appreciate the information and process seems to be working well.
Addison County- With reappraisals and with some towns having assessors it may take a little time for the process to be fully successful. There are a lot of transitions, just be patient, it will get there.
Windsor – Suggested to use auto reply so everyone can be in the same conversation instead of a one on one.
Bennington- like that they can get basic info for meetings and conferences. very nice to have.
Starksboro is a first time town and was the first check sent! yay!
ANNUAL MEETING- $15.00 per person for annual meeting along with registration for VALA. Will make sure that each individual will be able to sign up separately so all are accounted for.
Vendors- sending out a registration form and are raising fees- included in the fee the vendors can be advertised on the newsletter. Reappraisal companies, mapping companies and banks are great vendors to reach out to for the annual meeting. Keep track of the amount of vendors to compare to last year and make sure there’s enough space.
EDUCATION COMITTEE- posting registration forms soon for the two classes. Sign up for TOECS!!!! Gonna be a good one!
EQUALIZATION COMITTEE- is coming along please submit information to Tom. 25 towns have submitted and he will show you what’s going on and will be setting up a meeting in a few weeks to go over everything. CU is showing an effect in the study. Please support the project and get involved.
TREASURER’S REPORT- not much has changed. Website has gone up slightly. Total still under budget. Quick books….$ 20 to $40 a month. Quicken…. $30 to $100 one time fee. Debit card for for VALA president to use.
Motion made to accept treasurers report, seconded, and motion passed.
LEGISLASTIVE COMITTEE- Jill Remick will review the bills later in the meeting.
The card room at the statehouse is booked for VALA for one day next year.
A new bill creates a study about combining towns in school districts for one common level of appraisal. Needs two VALA members. Ed Clodfelter and Tom Vickery volunteered.
LISTER OF THE YEAR – Nomination for Lister of the year will be going out soon.
MEMBERSHIPS- Extensive conversation to consider revising professional memberships- for such groups to pay two fees at standard rate, and the third (and more) would be discounted.
There was a motion to pass the discounted professional group fees. Not seconded.
>There was some confusion on professional members and vendors.
>Regarding PVR we should speak with Doug Farnham about group rate. Clarification about PVR members attending courses; not required that each PVR staff be a member, same fee for courses as members.
>Should we be doing all this for the money or to get new members? Let’s not get
carried away with money structure and not new members.
>What’s the advantage? We need to be sure not to undercut the budget and lose money.
>Affiliate non- voting memberships may be the way to go.
>if we don’t increase our services we cannot adjust membership rates. Increase
services then we can play with membership rates.
>This needs more discussion with all the memberships and fees. Check the Bylaws.
Val offered to withdraw the motion.
Motion to table this for another time, seconded.
Passed to table for a later date
Meeting break at 10:00 till 10:20
PVR – Jill Remick- legislative update.
> Lighten the Load Bill- taking the Superior Court out of the appeals process has not changed they are still in on the appeals process.
>Miscellaneous Tax Bill – Listers and assessors would get free education.
>Hearing officers on state appeals may site inspect properties if either party requests to do so.
>There is a study committee for combining town CLAs by school districts for tax purposes.
>CU has been left alone. There is some language on agricultural certification.
Elizabeth Hunt is suffering from a head injury and things in the CU section have
been slow, please contact the DA’s, Jill Remick or Doug Farnham for assistance.
Other PVR news: is on board to use monies for TOECS’s for Listers. Send the invoices to Jill Remick for reimbursement. Education money can be used for ALL courses…. such as
VALA, IAAO, PVR, TOEC’s….
>DA’s are trying to get records (CPGs) of all solar arrays yearly for the listers so they know
how many there are in their town.
>Downloads have gone out to towns for Current Use.
PROPOSED VALUATION APPEALS BOARD -There was discussion on PVR trying to change the appeal process from Hearing Officers to a Valuation Appeals Board. VALA is collecting town feedback to forward to Doug Farnham. The following was put forward at the meeting:
Windsor-over all the county approved. Traveling board or stationary? 3 to 5 member with a fee would be a good idea. Likes the idea of having a board.
Lamoille- having one board might be an issue. Multiple or a traveling board may speed up the process, but likes the idea of a board.
Washington- overall it was a positive . Would like to see a concept of it all. Likes a 3 man board.
Rutland- mixed, but overall was in favor of the new concept.
Ed Clodfelter of NEMRC- proposed no officers and no court option. Like the 3 full time member board, and to fulfill all the information in one location with a fee of around $250.00.
Windham- positive. Concerned about the location, would like it more local. Main concern was getting the process to speed up. Financial impact is getting larger when not handled quickly.
Chittenden- likes the change, sounds very positive.
Caledonia- Excellent idea and thinks it would speed up the process. It will save the town money but not the state.
Maura Carroll of VLCT- superior court may not have a lot of experience in appraisal whereas the board would be experts.
>Local Government Day was a success! The presentation for Listers was great!
>Looking to update website for the state. Please let them know if it’s not user friendly.
>Spring Selectboard workshop…. 120 selectboard members went! Great turnout!.
>Bi weekly legislative webinars will be available to see. They’re free to all. The
state wants to provide as much info as possible.
>there are a few seminars going on. See their website for more information or
contact Lisa Goodell or Maura Caroll.
PVR- working to develop guidance on conservation easements and leased camps. It was suggested to get a speaker to get on these subjects for Annual Meeting.
>Grand List Seminar is coming up
>Advanced CAMA went well,
>There are a few webinars coming up, see the website for more information.
>There may be a basic CAMA class, computers for the class are difficult to obtain.
Future Workshops – It was suggested that a statistics class strictly for Vermont would be great.
Clerks and Listers: At Local Government Day Todd LeBlanc and Town Clerk Association president Lucrecia Wonsorr from Killington agreed to have a workshop on clerks and listers, to encourage working together well.
Equalization study meeting after this VALA meeting. Tom has copies of the study so far for anyone interested, and wants to discuss where it will go from here.
John Fike’s class on appeals: All listers should know the correct process to defend values and this class will make it an easier one for all.
Motion to adjourn, seconded, passed
meeting adjourned at 11:15am