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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 32: Taxation and Finance

Chapter 121: General Provisions

  • Subchapter 001: Duties of Director
  • § 3401. Powers and duties of Director

    The Director may examine any inventory in the hands of listers, shall from time to time confer and advise with them touching their official duties, shall furnish them printed instructions and directions relating to their official duties, and shall issue any bulletins as in the Director’s judgment will aid in enforcing the law. When a board of listers or members requests, the Director shall furnish any information as the Director shall deem pertinent. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 508, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 3402. Director to collect data

    The Director shall collect such data and information touching methods of taxation and exemption and the work of listers in the various towns as the Director shall deem advisable. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 509, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 3403. Repealed. 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 426, eff. May 22, 1996.

  • § 3404. Repealed. 2023, No. 72, § 9, eff. June 19, 2023.

    (Added 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 1997, No. 59, § 10, eff. June 30, 1997; 2023, No. 72, § 9, eff. June 19, 2023.)

  • §§ 3405-3408. Repealed. 1975, No. 118, § 91, eff. July 1, 1975.

  • § 3409. Repealed. 2015, No. 57, § 98, eff. June 11, 2015.

  • § 3410. Repealed. 2023, No. 72, § 10, eff. June 19, 2023.

    (Added 1967, No. 146, § 4, eff. July 1, 1968; amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 72, eff. June 13, 1988; 2023, No. 72, § 10, eff. June 19, 2023.)

  • § 3411. Powers of the Division of Property Valuation and Review

    The Division of Property Valuation and Review shall through its Director:

    (1) employ such staff as is necessary, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of the Department of Taxes;

    (2) cooperate fully with the Commissioner in any matter in which he or she requires assistance in connection with his or her duties, including the valuation of property for any tax administered and collected by the Commissioner;

    (3) adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to provide for the uniform administration of the property tax;

    (4) maintain any information obtained by the Director from any local official subject to the same rules as to public access and confidentiality as apply to such information in the possession of a local official, as contained in section 4009 of this title;

    (5) provide technical assistance and instruction to the listers in a uniform appraisal system and provide other related assistance within the limits of available resources;

    (6) prepare and provide to towns at a reasonable fee form books, other required forms and copies of relevant statutes in booklet form;

    (7) to the extent of available resources, prepare and provide tax maps for all municipalities not having the same;

    (8) from time to time, develop and recommend to the General Assembly improved methods for standardizing property assessment procedures and to administer the current use program in accordance with chapter 124 of this title;

    (9) annually publish the report described in section 3412 of this title;

    (10) assist municipalities in administration of property taxes, including the appraisal of classes of property difficult to appraise, such as industrial and utility properties; and

    (11) appraise property required by law to be appraised by the Director, including railroad property under chapter 211 of this title. (Added 1977, No. 105, § 12, eff. July 1, 1977; amended 1985, No. 74, § 299; 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 73, eff. June 13, 1988; 1999, No. 49, § 4, eff. June 2, 1999; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 510, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 3412. Annual report

    Before January 15 of each year, the Director shall deliver to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate copies of an annual report including in that report all rules issued in the preceding year. The report shall include the rate per dollar and the amount of all taxes assessed in each and all of the towns, gores, school and fire districts, and villages for and during the year ending with June 30 preceding, and the value of all exempt property on each grand list as required by subsection 4152(a) of this title. The report shall also include an analysis of the appraisal practices and methods employed through the State. The Director shall include recommendations for statutory changes as he or she feels necessary. Copies of the annual report shall be forwarded to the Chair of the Selectboard of each town. The presiding officer shall refer the report to the appropriate committees of the General Assembly for their review and recommendation. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this section. (Added 1977, No. 105, § 13; amended 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 427, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 50, § 10, eff. June 26, 1997; 2005, No. 38, § 21, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 68.)

  • Subchapter 002: Duties of Listers
  • § 3431. Lister’s oath

    (a) Each lister shall take and subscribe and file in the town clerk’s office, before entering upon the duties of his or her office, the following oath; and the oath as subscribed shall be recorded in the town clerk’s office:

    “I, _______ , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will appraise all the personal and real property subject to taxation in the town (or city) of ____________ , so far as required by law, at its fair market value, will list the same without discrimination on a proportionate basis of such value for the grand list of such town (or city), will set the same in the grand list of such town (or city) at one per cent of the listed value and will faithfully discharge all the duties imposed upon me by law. So help me God.” (or, “under the pains and penalties of perjury.”)

    (b) When the listers violate such oath, they shall each be guilty of perjury and punished accordingly.

  • § 3432. Duties of listers

    Listers shall render such assistance, give such information, and make such returns to the Director in relation to the subject of taxation as he or she may require. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)

  • § 3433. Duties upon taking up inventories

    A lister who takes up an inventory as provided by section 4041 of this title, at the time he or she receives the same, shall indorse thereon his or her name and the date of its receipt. When a lister accepts the inventory of a person not made out and sworn to as provided in this chapter, or willfully neglects or refuses to indorse thereon his or her name and the date of receipt thereof, or willfully neglects or refuses to appraise and set in the list, as required by law, each item described in an inventory filled out as provided in this chapter, he or she shall be fined not more than $100.00 for each inventory so received, and for each such willful refusal or neglect.

  • § 3434. Meetings for instruction

    The Director shall call meetings of the listers to be held at such places and at such times as he or she shall designate for the purpose of instruction touching the requisites of a legal tax inventory, a valid grand list, the law governing their official duties, and concerning the appraisal and listing of the various classes of taxable property. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)

  • § 3435. Listers to attend meetings for instructions

    Except as otherwise provided in this section, at least one lister, or more if the town so votes, shall attend all meetings or schools for instruction to which they are summoned in writing by the Director. When a lister is unable to attend, the lister shall immediately notify the Director, stating the cause of the lister’s inability to attend. In the Director’s discretion, the Director may summon the lister to attend another meeting as the Director shall designate. Listers who attend the meetings shall receive for their attendance from their respective towns the per diem voted for listers or $10.00 per day, whichever is the greater, and their necessary expenses. (Amended 1959, No. 16, eff. March 5, 1959; 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 511, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 3436. Assessment education

    (a) The Director shall certify assessment education programs for municipal listers and assessors at convenient times and places during the year and is authorized to contract with one or more persons to provide part or all of the assessment instruction. Certified programs shall include education on racial disparities in property valuation outcomes in the United States, with a focus on Vermont in particular, and on-going bias reduction training. Certified programs may include instruction in lister duties, property inspection, data collection, valuation methods, mass appraisal techniques, property tax administration, or such other subjects as the Director deems beneficial to listers and both mandatory and optional certified programs may be presented by Property Valuation and Review or a person pursuant to a contract with Property Valuation and Review, the International Association of Assessing Officials, the Vermont Assessors and Listers Association, or the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

    (b) The Director shall establish designations recognizing levels of achievement and the necessary course work or evaluation of equivalent experience required to attain each designation. Designation for any one level shall be for a period of three years.

    (c) Designation obtained under subsection (b) of this section may be renewed for three-year periods upon completion of requirements as determined by the Director.

    (d) The Director shall also notify all towns annually of any new approaches that the Division of Property Valuation and Review is aware of for obtaining or performing mass reappraisals and for grand list maintenance.

    (e) A sum not to exceed $100,000.00 each year shall be paid from the Education Fund to the Division of Property Valuation and Review for the purpose of providing assessment education for municipal listers and assessors. The Director is authorized to establish guidelines and requirements for education programs to be provided using the funds described in this section. Education programs provided using funds described in this section shall be provided at no cost or minimal cost to the municipal listers and assessors. In addition to providing the annual education programs described in this section, up to 20 percent of the amount available for education programs may be reserved as a scholarship fund to permit municipal listers and assessors to attend national programs providing education opportunities on advanced assessment topics. All applications for scholarships shall be submitted to and approved by the Director. (Added 2005, No. 38, § 3, eff. June 2, 2005; amended 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. June 4, 2014; 2015, No. 57, § 39, eff. June 11, 2015; 2023, No. 68, § 6, eff. July 1, 2023.)

  • Subchapter 003: Statistical Information
  • § 3461. Report by village clerk

    Annually, on or before July 15, school and fire district clerks and clerks of incorporated villages shall make and deliver to the town clerk a statement of taxes assessed by such districts and villages during the year ending June 30 preceding, giving the amount of the grand list, the rate per dollar, and the amount of taxes assessed in such districts and villages.

  • § 3462. Repealed. 2001, No. 63, § 283(c).

  • § 3463. Repealed. 2009, No. 33, § 83(m)(7).

  • § 3464. Failure to file reports

    An appraiser; town, school, or fire district clerk; or county treasurer who fails to perform the duties imposed upon him or her by this subchapter shall be fined $20.00.

  • § 3465. Public records; CAPTAP

    Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in 1 V.S.A. § 317, section 3102 of this title, this chapter, or any other provision of law, information maintained by the Division of Property Valuation and Review obtained from local governments participating in the Computer Assisted Property Tax Administration Program (CAPTAP) shall be public records subject to public inspection and copying under 1 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 3. (Added 1985, No. 242 (Adj. Sess.), § 312; amended 2003, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • Subchapter 004: Miscellaneous
  • § 3481. Definitions

    The following definitions shall apply in this Part and chapter 101 of this title, pertaining to the listing of property for taxation:

    (1)(A) “Appraisal value” shall mean, with respect to property enrolled in a use value appraisal program, the use value appraisal as defined in subdivision 3752(12) of this title, multiplied by the common level of appraisal, and with respect to all other property, except for owner-occupied housing identified in subdivision (C) of this subdivision (1), the estimated fair market value. The estimated fair market value of a property is the price that the property will bring in the market when offered for sale and purchased by another, taking into consideration all the elements of the availability of the property, its use both potential and prospective, any functional deficiencies, and all other elements such as age and condition that combine to give property a market value. Those elements shall include the effect of any State or local law or regulation affecting the use of land, including 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 or any land capability plan established in furtherance or implementation thereof, rules adopted by the Department of Health, and any local or regional zoning ordinances or development plans. In determining estimated fair market value, the sale price of the property in question is one element to consider, but is not solely determinative.

    (B) For residential rental property that is subject to a housing subsidy covenant or other legal restriction, imposed by a governmental, quasi-governmental, or public purpose entity, on rents that may be charged, fair market value shall be determined by an income approach using the following elements:

    (i) market rents with utility allowance adjustments for the geographic area in which the property is located as determined by the federal office of Housing and Urban Development or in the case of properties authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 1437, 12 U.S.C. § 1701q, 42 U.S.C. § 1485, 12 U.S.C. § 1715z-1, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f, and 24 CFR Part 882 Subpart D and E, the higher of contract rents (meaning the amount of federal rental assistance plus any tenant contribution) and HUD market rents;

    (ii) actual expenses incurred with respect to the property that shall be provided by the property owner in a format acceptable to the Commissioner and certified by an independent third party, such as a certified public accounting firm or public or quasi-public funding agency;

    (iii) a vacancy rate that is 50 percent of the market vacancy rate as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau with local review by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency; and

    (iv) a capitalization rate that is typical for the geographic area determined and published annually prior to April 1 by the Division of Property Valuation and Review after consultation with the Vermont Housing Finance Agency.

    (C) For owner-occupied housing that is subject to a housing subsidy covenant, as defined in 27 V.S.A. § 610, imposed by a governmental, quasi-governmental, or public purpose entity, that limits the price for which the property may be sold, the housing subsidy covenant shall be deemed to cause a material decrease in the value of the owner-occupied housing, and the appraisal value means not less than 60 and not more than 70 percent of what the fair market value of the property would be if it were not subject to the housing subsidy covenant. Every five years, starting in 2019, the Commissioner of Taxes, in consultation with the Vermont Housing Conservation Board, shall report to the House Committee on Ways and Means on whether the percentage of appraised valued used in this subdivision should be altered and the reasons for his or her determination.

    (D)(i) For real and personal property comprising a renewable energy plant generating electricity from solar power, except land and property that is exempt under subdivision 3802(17) of this title, the appraisal value shall be determined by an income capitalization or discounted cash flow approach that includes the following:

    (I) an appraisal model identified and published by the Director employing appraisal industry standards and inputs;

    (II) a discount rate determined and published annually by the Director;

    (III) the appraisal value shall be 70 percent of the value calculated using the model published by the Director based on an expected 25-year project life and shall be set in the grand list next lodged after the plant is commissioned and each subsequent grand list for the lesser of the remaining life of the project or 25 years;

    (IV) for the purposes of calculating appraisal value for net metered systems receiving a credit specified in 30 V.S.A. § 219a(h)(1)(K), the model used to calculate value will not incorporate a factor for electricity rate escalation; and

    (V) for plants operating as a net-metered system as described in 30 V.S.A. § 219a with a capacity of 50 kW or greater, the plant capacity used to determine value in the model shall be reduced by 50 kW and the appraisal value shall be calculated only on additional capacity in excess of 50 kW.

    (ii) The owner of a project shall respond to a request for information from the municipal assessing officials by returning the information sheet describing the project in the form specified by the Director not later than 45 days after the request for information is sent to the owner. If the owner does not provide a complete and timely response, the municipality shall determine the appraisal value using the published model and the best estimates of the inputs to the model available to the municipality at the time, and the provisions of section 4006 of this title shall apply to the information form in the same manner as if the information form were an inventory as described in that section. Nothing in this subdivision (1)(D) shall affect the availability of the exemption set forth in the provisions of section 3845 of this title or availability of a contract under the provisions of 24 V.S.A. § 2741.

    (E) For real and personal property comprising an energy storage facility, except land and property that is exempt under subdivision 3802(19) of this title, the appraisal value shall be $0.25 per kWh of plant energy rating.

    (2) “Listed value” shall be an amount equal to 100 percent of the appraisal value. The ratio shall be the same for both real and personal property. (Amended 1959, No. 175, eff. Jan. 1, 1960; 1965, No. 126, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1967; 1973, No. 85, § 11, eff. July 1, 1973; 1977, No. 105, § 6; 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 285; 1997, No. 60, § 64, eff. June 26, 1997; 2005, No. 38, § 1; 2005, No. 75, § 6; 2007, No. 81, § 10; 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 27, 54, eff. Jan. 1, 2015; 2017, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. May 21, 2018; 2021, No. 54, § 19; 2023, No. 53, § 129, eff. June 8, 2023.)

  • § 3482. Property listed at one percent

    Except as otherwise provided, all real and personal estate shall be set in the list at one percent of its listed value on April 1, of the year of its appraisal.

  • § 3483. False statement, perjury

    A person who willfully swears falsely or who willfully makes a false statement under the pains and penalties of perjury in violation of any of the provisions of this Part shall be guilty of perjury and punished accordingly.

  • § 3484. Furnishing names to listers

    (a) On application of a lister in the performance of his or her duties, keepers of hotels, boarding, and dwelling houses shall give the names of all persons residing in their respective houses. When such keeper refuses to give such information, or knowingly gives false information, he or she shall be fined $10.00.

    (b) On application of a lister in the performance of his or her duties, a person who refuses to give the names of the persons in his or her employ or knowingly gives false information shall be fined $10.00.

  • § 3485. Records to be kept relating to deeds and mortgages

    (a) Annually on April 1, town clerks shall furnish the listers with copies of the property tax returns filed by the clerk under section 9610 of this title relating to deeds that were filed for record during the year ending on the first day of such month. However, upon request in writing by the listers, on or before the 15th day of each month, town clerks shall furnish the listers with copies of the property transfer tax returns to deeds that were filed for record during the next preceding calendar month.

    (b) Failure on the part of the town clerk to furnish the copies required under subsection (a) of this section shall not render the town liable in damages to any person. A town clerk who willfully fails to furnish the copies required under subsection (a) of this section shall be fined $10.00 for each offense. (Amended 1959, No. 21, eff. March 6, 1959; 1995, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 512, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 3486. Repealed. 1971, No. 41, § 2, eff. April 7, 1971.