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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 32: Taxation and Finance

Chapter 131: APPEALS

  • Subchapter 001: TO BOARD OF CIVIL AUTHORITY
  • §§ 4401, 4402. Repealed. 1957, No. 219, § 4, eff. July 1, 1961.

  • § 4403. Appeal from appraisal made other than on April 1

    Within 14 days after the date of mailing of notice required under section 4046 of this title, a person aggrieved by the decision of the listers under the provisions of section 4046 of this title may appeal therefrom pursuant to the provisions of sections 4407-4410 of this title. (Amended 1983, No. 85, § 9.)

  • § 4404. Appeals from listers as to grand list

    (a) Within 14 days after the date of notice thereof, a person aggrieved by the final decision of the listers under the provisions of section 4221 of this title may appeal in writing therefrom to the board of civil authority by lodging his or her appeal with the town clerk, who shall record the same in the book containing the abstract of individual lists. The grounds upon which such appeal is based shall therein be briefly set forth.

    (b) The town clerk forthwith shall call a meeting of the board to hear and determine such appeals, which shall be held at such time, not later than 14 days after the last date allowed for notice of appeal, and at such place within the town as he or she shall designate. Notice of such time and place shall be given by posting a warning therefor in three or more public places in such town and by mailing a copy of such warning, postage prepaid, to each member of the board, an agent designated by the legislative body, the chair of the board of listers, and to all persons so appealing.

    (c)(1) The board shall meet at the time and place so designated, and on that day and from day to day thereafter shall hear and determine such appeals until all questions and objections are heard and decided. Each property, the appraisal of which is being appealed, shall be inspected by a committee of not less than three members of the board who shall report to the board within 30 days from the hearing on the appeal and before the final decision pertaining to the property is given. If, after notice, the appellant refuses to allow an inspection of the property as required under this subsection, including the interior and exterior of any structure on the property, the appeal shall be deemed withdrawn. The board shall, within 15 days from the time of the report, certify in writing its notice of decision, with reasons, in the premises, and shall file the notice with the town clerk who shall thereupon record the same in the book wherein the appeal was recorded and forthwith notify the appellant in writing of the action of such board by certified mail. If the board does not substantially comply with the requirements of this subsection and if the appeal is not withdrawn by filing written notice of withdrawal with the board or deemed withdrawn as provided in this subsection, the grand list of the appellant for the year for which appeal is being made shall remain at the amount set before the appealed change was made by the listers; except, if there has been a complete reappraisal, the grand list of the appellant for the year for which appeal is being made shall be set at a value that will produce a tax liability equal to the tax liability for the preceding year. The town clerk shall immediately record the same in the book wherein the appeal was recorded and forthwith notify the appellant in writing of the action by certified mail. Thereupon the appraisal so determined pursuant to this subsection shall become a part of the grand list of the person.

    (2) During a declared state of emergency under 20 V.S.A. chapter 1, a board of civil authority within a municipality affected by an all-hazards event shall not be required to physically inspect any property that is the subject of an appeal. If the appellant requests in writing that the property be inspected for purposes of the appeal, a member or members of the board shall conduct the inspection through electronic means. If the appellant does not facilitate the inspection through electronic means, then the appeal shall be deemed withdrawn.

    (3) As used in this subsection, “electronic means” means the transmittal of video or photographic evidence by the appellant at the direction of the board members conducting the inspection.

    (d) Listers and agents to prosecute and defend suits wherein a town is interested shall not be eligible to serve as members of the board while convened to hear and determine such appeals nor shall an appellant, the appellant’s servant, agent, or attorney be eligible to serve as a member of the board while convened to hear and determine any appeals. However, listers and agents to prosecute and defend suits wherein a town is interested shall be given the opportunity to defend the appraisals in question. (Amended 1959, No. 58, eff. April 1, 1959; 1961, No. 4; 1963, No. 201; 1973, No. 104, § 2, eff. April 25, 1973; 1983, No. 85, § 10, affecting property tax years beginning on and after April 1, 1984; 1993, No. 49, § 6, eff. May 28, 1993; 1993, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 24, 1994; 1995, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. May 15, 1996; 2019, No. 84 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2021, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 4405. Oath

    The members of the board of civil authority shall each take, subscribe, and file in the town clerk’s office before entering upon the discharge of their duties under section 4404 of this title the following oath, and the oath as subscribed shall be recorded in such clerk’s office:

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will well and truly hear and determine all matters at issue between taxpayers and listers submitted for my decision. So help me God.” (or, “under the pains and penalties of perjury.”)

  • § 4406. Repealed.

  • § 4407. Appeal from proceedings to correct abstracts

    Within 14 days after the date of notice thereof, a person aggrieved by the final decision of the listers under the provisions of sections 4112-4116 and 4222-4224 of this title may appeal therefrom and shall file his or her objections in writing with the town or city clerk, who shall call a meeting of the board of civil authority at a time and place to be determined by the clerk, but such time shall not be later than 14 days after the last date allowed for notice of appeal. Notices in writing of such appeal and of the time and place of such hearing shall be delivered in person or mailed, postage prepaid, to the appellant and one or more of the listers. (Amended 1983, No. 85, § 11; 1991, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1993, No. 49, § 7, eff. May 28, 1993.)

  • § 4408. Hearing by board

    (a) On the date so fixed by the town clerk and from day to day thereafter, the board of civil authority shall hear such appellants as appear in person or by agents or attorneys until all such objections have been heard and considered. All objections filed in writing with the board of civil authority at or prior to the time fixed for hearing appeals shall be determined by the board, notwithstanding that the person filing the objections fails to appear in person or by agent or attorney.

    (b), (c) [Repealed.] (Amended 1971, No. 73, § 9, eff. April 16, 1971; 2009, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § H.22; 2011, No. 4, § 1, eff. Feb. 23, 2011; 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 4409. Certification of changes

    The board of civil authority may increase, reduce, or sustain an appraisal made by listers. The action taken in such appeal proceedings shall be certified in writing by the board of civil authority to the town clerk, who shall record the same in such abstract and make proper notations therein opposite the name of each taxpayer whose appeal is thus determined and shall forthwith notify the appellant in writing of the action of such board, sent by certified mail. (Amended 1971, No. 73, § 10, eff. April 16, 1971; 1973, No. 104, § 3, eff. April 25, 1973.)

  • § 4410. When no appeal taken

    When all section 4407 appeals so taken have been determined as aforesaid, the listers shall amend or correct the grand list to conform to such abstracts, shall complete the grand list in the town clerk’s office, shall subscribe and append thereto the oath prescribed in section 4151 of this title, and shall affix thereto a certificate setting forth their doings in respect thereof and the date whereon such grand list was so amended.

  • § 4411. Modifying grand list to conform with results of an appeal

    If, at the time when the listers are required to complete the grand list and to lodge the same with the town clerk by section 4151 of this title, an appeal from the listers is pending and undetermined, such appeal shall be determined as soon as may be thereafter, and the board deciding such appeal shall file with the town clerk a certificate setting forth its decision in the premises, and he or she shall record the same in the grand list book, and thereupon the grand list shall be modified or amended to conform thereto.


  • Subchapter 002: TO DIRECTOR OR TO SUPERIOR COURT
  • § 4441. Repealed. 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.

  • § 4442. Repealed. 1959, No. 158, § 5, eff. May 5, 1959.

  • §§ 4443-4451. Repealed. 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.

  • § 4452. Valuations

    (a) On or before May 1 of each year, the Division of Property Valuation and Review of the Department of Taxes shall furnish the listers in each town or city with the valuation of all taxable property of any public utility situated therein as reported by such utility to the Division.

    (b) Each public utility shall furnish to the Division not later than March 31 in each year a sworn inventory of all its taxable property in such form as will show the valuation of its property in each town, city, or other municipality.

    (c) The Division shall prescribe the form of such report and the officer or officers who shall make oath thereto.

    (d) The valuations so furnished shall be considered along with any other information as may reasonably be required by such listers in determining and fixing the valuations of such property for the purposes of local taxation. (Added 1975, No. 184 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1983, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.); 1999, No. 49, § 29, eff. June 2, 1999.)

  • §§ 4453-4460. [Reserved for future use]

  • § 4461. Time and manner of appeal

    (a) A taxpayer or the selectboard members of a town aggrieved by a decision of the board of civil authority under subchapter 1 of this chapter may appeal the decision of the board to either the Director or the Superior Court of the county in which the property is located. The appeal to the Superior Court shall be heard without a jury. The appeal to either the Director or the Superior Court shall be commenced by filing a notice of appeal pursuant to Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure within 30 days after entry of the decision of the board of civil authority. The date of mailing of notice of the board’s decision by the town clerk to the taxpayer shall be deemed the date of entry of the board’s decision. The town clerk shall transmit a copy of the notice to the Director or to the Superior Court as indicated in the notice and shall record or attach a copy of the notice in the grand list book. The entry fee for an appeal to the Director is $70.00; provided, however, that the Director may waive, reduce, or refund the entry fee in cases of hardship or to join appeals regarding the same parcel. If, in the opinion of the Director, an appeal under this subsection involves a complex or unique property or valuation that would be best adjudicated by the Superior Court, the Director may decline to assign a property valuation hearing officer pursuant to section 4465 of this title and shall forward the appeal to the Superior Court where it shall be heard. An appeal forwarded by the Director under this subsection shall be considered timely filed in the Superior Court if it was timely appealed to the Director.

    (b) On or before the last day on which appeals may be taken from the decision of the board of civil authority, an agent designated by the legislative body of the town, in the name of the town, on written application of one or more taxpayers of the town whose combined grand list represents at least three percent of the grand list of the town for the preceding year, shall appeal to the Superior Court from any action of the board of civil authority not involving appeals of the applying taxpayers. However, the agent designated by the legislative body shall, in any event, have at least six business days after receipt of such taxpayers’ application for appeal in which to take the appeal, and the date for the taking of such appeal shall accordingly be extended, if necessary, until the six business days shall have elapsed. The $70.00 entry fee shall be paid by the applicants with respect to each individual property thus being appealed that is separately listed in the grand list.

    (c) [Repealed.]

    (d) Fees collected under this section shall be credited to a special fund established and managed pursuant to chapter 7, subchapter 5 of this title and shall be available to the Department of Taxes to offset the costs of providing those services. (Added 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 217, eff. March 29, 1972; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 1977, No. 66; 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 1979, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1983, No. 201 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. April 27, 1984; 1993, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 59, § 12, eff. June 30, 1997; 1997, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 21a, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; 1999, No. 49, § 45, eff. June 2, 1999; 2005, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2017, No. 11, § 58; 2019, No. 51, § 3, eff. June 10, 2019; 2019, No. 84 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2021, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. June 1, 2022.)

  • § 4462. Repealed. 1999, No. 49, § 46, eff. June 2, 1999.

  • § 4463. Objections to appeal

    When a taxpayer, an agent designated by the legislative body of the town, or selectboard claims that an appeal to the Director is in any manner defective or was not lawfully taken, on or before 14 days after mailing of the notice of appeal by the clerk under Rule 74(b) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure, the taxpayer, agent, or selectboard shall file objections in writing with the Director and furnish the appellant or appellant’s attorney with a copy of the objections. When the taxpayer, agent, or selectboard so requests, the Director shall thereupon fix a time and place for hearing the objections and shall notify all parties thereof, by mail or otherwise. Upon hearing or otherwise, the Director shall pass upon the objections and make such order in relation thereto as is required by law. The order shall be recorded or attached in the town clerk’s office in the book wherein the appeal is recorded. (Added 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 219, eff. March 29, 1972; 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 1999, No. 49, § 47, eff. June 2, 1999; 2003, No. 70 (Adj. Sess.), § 38, eff. March 1, 2004; 2017, No. 11, § 59; 2019, No. 84 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)

  • § 4464. Withdrawal of appeal

    On application to the Director, an appellant may request leave to withdraw his or her appeal at any time before it is heard. When an appeal is withdrawn, the Director shall so certify to the clerk of the town from the action of whose listers or board of civil authority the appeal was taken, and the clerk shall record the certificate of withdrawal of the appeal. The appraisal from which the appeal was taken shall then become a part of the appraisal or grand list of the taxpayer. (Added 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 220, eff. March 29, 1972; 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)

  • § 4465. Appointment of property valuation hearing officer; oath; pay

    When an appeal to the Director is not withdrawn or forwarded by the Director to Superior Court pursuant to subsection 4461(a) of this title, the Director shall refer the appeal in writing to a person not employed by the Director, appointed by the Director as hearing officer. The Director shall have the right to remove a hearing officer for inefficiency, malfeasance in office, or other cause. In like manner, the Director shall appoint a hearing officer to fill any vacancy created by resignation, removal, or other cause. Before entering into their duties, persons appointed as hearing officers shall take and subscribe the oath of the office prescribed in the Constitution, which oath shall be filed with the Director. The Director shall pay each hearing officer a sum not to exceed $150.00 per diem for each day wherein hearings are held, together with reasonable expenses as the Director may determine. A hearing officer may subpoena witnesses, records, and documents in the manner provided by law for serving subpoenas in civil actions and may administer oaths to witnesses. (Added 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 293; 1997, No. 59, § 13, eff. June 30, 1997; 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 279; 2013, No. 73, § 32; 2015, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. May 25, 2016; 2019, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. Oct. 8, 2020; 2021, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. June 1, 2022.)

  • § 4466. Conduct of appeal before hearing officer

    Unless expressly waived by all parties to the appeal, the provisions of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 shall govern all proceedings before a hearing officer except where inconsistent with this subchapter. A hearing officer shall promptly notify in writing the clerk of the town and all other parties to the appeal of the place within the town wherein the appeal is taken, of the place within such town and the time at which the parties shall be heard, such notice to be delivered in person or by mail, postage prepaid. (Added 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 294; 2013, No. 73, § 33.)

  • § 4467. Determination of appeal

    (a) Upon appeal to the Director or the court, the hearing officer or court shall proceed de novo and determine the correct valuation of the property as promptly as practicable and to determine a homestead and a housesite value if a homestead has been declared with respect to the property for the year in which the appeal is taken. The hearing officer or court shall take into account the requirements of law as to valuation, and the provisions of Chapter I, Article 9 of the Constitution of Vermont and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    (b) If the hearing officer or court finds that the listed value of the property subject to appeal does not correspond to the listed value of comparable properties within the town, the hearing officer or court shall set the property in the list at a corresponding value. The findings and determinations of the hearing officer shall be made in writing and shall be available to the appellant.

    (c)(1) If the appeal is taken to the Director, the hearing officer may inspect the property prior to making a determination, unless one of the parties requests an inspection, in which case the hearing officer shall inspect the property prior to making a determination. Within 10 days of the appeal being filed with the Director, the Director shall notify the property owner in writing of the Director’s option to request an inspection under this section.

    (2) During a declared state of emergency under 20 V.S.A. chapter 1, a hearing officer shall not be required to physically inspect any property that is the subject of an appeal. If the appellant requests in writing that the property be inspected for purposes of the appeal, the hearing officer shall conduct the inspection through electronic means. If the appellant does not facilitate the inspection through electronic means, then the appeal shall be deemed withdrawn.

    (3) As used in this subsection, “electronic means” means the transmittal of video or photographic evidence by the appellant at the direction of the hearing officer conducting the inspection. (Added 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1973, No. 104, § 4, eff. April 25, 1973, operative only with respect to appeals brought after that date; 1983, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 10, 1984; 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 295; 1999, No. 49, § 16, eff. June 2, 1999; 2003, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. Feb. 17, 2004; 2013, No. 73, § 34; 2015, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. May 25, 2016; 2021, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. July 1, 2022.)

  • § 4468. Transmission and record of determination

    The Director or clerk of the court shall forward by certified mail one copy of the determination to the taxpayer, one copy to the Commissioner and one copy to the town clerk, who shall record the same in the book in which the appeal was recorded under section 4461 of this title. The appraisal so fixed by the Director or court shall become the basis for the grand list of the taxpayer for the year in which the appeal is taken and, if the appraisal relates to real property, for the two next ensuing years, except that if the real property is enrolled in use value appraisal under chapter 124 of this title, the value of enrolled land, prior to its being equalized, shall be the per acre value set annually by the Current Use Advisory Board multiplied by the number of acres enrolled. The appraisal, however, may be changed in the ensuing two years if the taxpayer’s property is materially altered, changed, damaged, or if the municipality, city, or town in which it is located has undergone a complete revaluation of all taxable real estate. (Added 1969, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 221, eff. March 29, 1972; 1973, No. 86, § 2, eff. for the tax year beginning April 1, 1974, and thereafter; 1973, No. 106, § 12, eff. 30 days from April 25, 1973; 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 1999, No. 49, § 48, eff. June 2, 1999; 2001, No. 63, § 279a, eff. June 16, 2001.)

  • § 4469. Tax credit upon successful appeal

    Whenever a taxpayer has had his or her appraisal reduced upon appeal and has paid the tax due upon the original appraisal that he or she appealed, the taxpayer shall be entitled to a credit against the tax for the next ensuing tax year, and for succeeding years if required to use up the amount of the credit, for the amount of tax paid in excess of that due upon the reduced appraisal. (Added 1975, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)