July 6, 2016 Meeting Minutes – unapproved

VALA Minutes July 6, 2016   Randolph, VT


9:10 am – Todd went through the Counties to see if there is a Quorum.  It was short by one.  No official meeting at this point.

Minutes – not discussed as not an official meeting.

There was a brief discussion about membership.  Val had new forms and a copy of the cover letter sent to Towns that have not been members in the past.

Annual Meeting will be at Lake Morey Inn on September 19th.


Michelle Wilson reported on the two upcoming classes.  The August IAAO Mathematics for Assessors,

and John Fike’s Appeals class on October 21st.  A mention was made that Android has a free calculator app.


March there will be a display at the State House for VALA.  Volunteers will be needed


Charlie M. Arrived and we now have quorum.


Lister of the Year – Nominations now closed.  There were 7 people nominated, and there was some discussion about giving a certificate to the nominees not selected for Lister of the Year.  Also, Tom Vickery suggested long serving Listers should be acknowledged by their length of service with a certificate.


Break – 9:30-9:45


Christy Wright, DA, spoke for PV&R – Equalization will be starting in a few weeks

There will be 2 IAAO courses offered this fall 100 + 101 in September + October

In October the Sectary of States Office will hold a 2-day seminar on Office Organization.  The second day will be on Lister Practices.  They are looking for suggestions.

There was some discussion of the Current Use files.  It would be nice if the list of enrollees, that need attention had a red flag, so the whole list does not need to be gone through after most have been validated.  Keep sending your files back, as CU has a backlog of new applications and changes.

Noel commented that previous values are a problem in CU and the form does not always have the correct amount.

Christy commented that there is no Result of Grievance form for CU.  They can appeal the allocation to the BCA.  She suggested that the BCA be shown the new Statute.

Doug Farnham, Director of PV&R came and spoke on a number of issues.

The topic of the State contract with NEMRC was discussed.  This year will be the last “Sole Source Contract” with NEMRC.  In the future there will be an RFP.  Contract will be on “Business Needs” of the State.  There seems to be a conflict of interest, with NEMRC being involved in too many modules.

Jeff Barcelow asked, “How long term, will the contracts be?”   “Can the CAMA and NEMRC modules be separated?”  Doug answered that the contracts will be for 5 or ten years.

Robin – they are under reappraisal.  “How do they deal with a conversion?”  The State will have an interface and will have some overlap so that should not be an issue.

EPPTR is changing to a different system.  Built into the new program will be support for the changeover.


The 3 CU Audits are done.  They turned out fairly well only minor problems were found, that were unintentional errors.  3 new towns will be done this fall.  Stearns Allen will continue to do it, but will do more in house rather than field work.  The Audit report is grievable to the Superior Court.

Tom Vickery commented that Farm Buildings are a difficult part of CU Valuations.


There is a Committee studying the impact of Act 46, School Consolidation.  It is unsure what the impact will be on the Sales Study.  There are too many issues and nothing will happen quickly.  There is fear that small towns will get swallowed into using the CLA of a Gold Town.  Harm vs Equity needs to be weighed.

Lister Ed Funds for Fiscal year 2017 authorized, but not appropriated yet.  There was a request for posting of balance available, might be better to just call.

The new EPPTR will have a survey monkey for verification in real time.  Starting April 1, 2017.  We will have the ability to do our coding online for the 2018 Study.

Pat French asked, “if we will be able to go back if there is new information?”  The answer is YES.

Tom Vickery had a date question – “can it be moved from January 1 to Feb 1?”


Maura C, from VLCT – Town Fair will be 2 Days.  October 5-6th.  The First day will be the Annual meeting and Committees.  The second day will be a keynote speaker and education offerings.  They are updating their website, which should provide streamlining of the workshop registrations.


Todd L – re: Utility Value – The VLCT Fair Committee is working on a Policy of Valuation and Taxation.  Hydro projects are an issue, and the process has only recently started.  The Fair Committee asked to pole VALA members about having PVR valuing Utilities. There was a call of hands on who wants the State to do the Utilities.  Not everyone was sure of the ramifications – approx. 50% were in agreement.


No NEMRC representative present.


Slate of Officers for the next year (to be voted at annual meeting) is:  Todd L., President; Camilla, VP, and Bob V., Treasurer.  There is a desperate need for someone to step in as Secretary.


Todd asked that we think about changing the July meeting to August or possibly change all the meetings to the 3rd week of the month to avoid present conflicts, such as Week of the 4th of July, Town meeting, etc.


Audit Committee needs to contact Bob to do their audit to present at the Annual Meeting.


Karen was introduced as Pauline Moore’s replacement in Manchester, since Pauline is retiring.


Tom Vickery then spoke about the categories on the Sales Study.  A paper was handed out with new combined categories going from 15 to 6 or 7.

Michelle asked are were reclassifying properties or is this just for the study?  This is just for the study and Towns can have their own sub=categories.

Jeff Barcelow asked, why even include UMH in the study?

Pauline M asked are small multi-family residential or commercial?  If owner occupied, residential, otherwise will be classified as commercial.

Noel – What will PV&R do with this?

Tom V – We will vote on moving forward on this at the Annual Meeting.  It will be a methodology decision, so no need to go to the Legislature.  “Should result in more consistency, and a Fairer study- CLA would be more accurate.”


Paul Noble made a motion to bring this suggestion to the Annual Meeting.  Val Almosnino seconded the motion.  Majority were in favor.


Minutes of the last 3 meetings will be approved at next regular meeting.


Motion to adjourn by Paul Noble at 11:56am.


Submitted, by Louise Ferris-Burt acting in a one-time capacity. (Thank you Louise!)

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