The Vermont Statutes Online
The statutes were updated in November, 2018, and contain all actions of the
2018 legislative session.
- Subchapter 001: ASSESSMENT GENERALLY
§ 4601. Taxes to be uniformly assessed
Taxes shall be uniformly assessed on the lists of the persons taxed, unless otherwise provided by law.
§ 4602. List upon which taxes are assessed
Subject to the provisions relating to the assessment of taxes on an amended or corrected grand list, state and county taxes assessed, and town, village, school, and highway taxes assessed or voted on or after March 1 in any year and before March 1 following, and fire district taxes assessed or voted on or after January 1 in any year and before January 1 following, shall be assessed on the grand list returned to the town clerk's office in May of such year. In case of incorporated villages that have their annual meetings before March 1, taxes so voted at such annual meetings, subject to such provisions, shall be assessed on the grand list returned to the town clerk's office in May of the year when such taxes are voted.
§ 4603. Taxes assessed on defective list
All taxes assessed on a defective or invalid grand list described in sections 4262-4264 of this title, that have been theretofore voluntarily paid without protest shall be valid. All taxes theretofore or thereafter assessed on such grand list, and not paid as aforesaid, shall be assessed on such grand list so amended and corrected.
§ 4604. Assessment on corrected or amended list
Taxes voted and not assessed shall be assessed on the amended list described in section 4261 of this title. Where a tax has been assessed, an assessment of the same percent may be made upon additions to such list. The collector shall collect the same as though it were in the original tax bill; and the warrant in such original tax bill shall be sufficient authority therefor.
§ 4605. Assessment when appraisal on other than April 1
(a) If no appeal is taken within the time allowed in section 4403 of this title, or if an appeal is taken, upon determination of such appeal, the treasurer shall forthwith assess the tax on the amended list described in section 4047 of this title and mail to the taxpayer at his or her last known address a notice stating the amount of his or her grand list, the tax rate, the amount of taxes due from him or her and when the same are payable. The same shall be payable to the tax collector not less than five nor more than 15 days after such assessment. Unless otherwise provided, collection of such taxes shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Taxes voted and not assessed shall be assessed on such amended list. Where a tax has been assessed, an assessment of the same percent may be made upon additions to such list. The collector shall collect the same as though it were in the original tax bill; and the warrant in such original tax bill shall be sufficient authority therefor.
§ 4606. Apportionment of assessment on transfer
When a part of a piece of real estate has been transferred in any year, the listers shall make such apportionment of the assessments thereon as they deem just.
§ 4607. Effect of irregularities
The assessment of a tax upon a list made up in part of property not taxable to the person assessed or of real estate carried from an irregular or void appraisal into an annual grand list or of property erroneously set in the list, shall not invalidate the whole tax but only such part thereof as is assessed upon the invalid part of the list. (Amended 1957, No. 219, § 2, eff. July 1, 1961.)
§ 4608. Resident ownership ratio
(a) The board of listers of each town or city shall report annually to the director:
(1) The value as appears in the grand list of all taxable real property in the town or city, and
(2) The value as appears in the grand list of all such taxable property in the town or city, classified according to the use of the property and, within each use category, further classified as owned by one of the following:
(A) resident of the town or city;
(B) resident of the State but not of the town or city;
(C) individual domiciled outside the State; or
(D) corporation, partnership or other entity.
(b) The reports shall be made on forms provided by the Director, and annually on October 1 or as soon thereafter as may be practical the Director shall on the basis of available data compute the percentage at fair market value of all taxable property in the State and in each town or city, and the percentage of each use category of taxable property in the State and in each town or city, that is owned by residents of the town or city, other residents of the State, individuals domiciled outside the State, and corporations, partnerships, and other entities.
(c) All such reports and computations shall be classified as public information, except that the Director is authorized and directed to make reasonable charges for any documentation of such information to persons requesting the same, other than agencies of government, State or local.
(d) The Director shall consult with local listers and establish the date or dates, in any or all cases, when such reports shall be made to him or her by local officials in each year, having regard to resources of manpower and personnel available to him or her and to local officials, and he or she shall have power to alter or extend such due dates if such is reasonably necessary.
(e) "Resident" means those individuals who, to the best knowledge of the listers, are legal residents of the town, city, or State, as the case may be, on April 1. (Added 1975, No. 92, § 1, eff. April 30, 1975; amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a), eff. July 1, 1977; 1991, No. 3, § 1, eff. March 6, 1991; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 36, eff. May 7, 1992.)
§ 4609. Military personnel penalty and interest exemption
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the legislative body of a municipality or the voters at a town meeting may exempt from the payment of any penalty, fee, or interest relative to the failure to make timely payment of taxes upon the principal residences of military personnel, individuals who have been called to full-time active duty by the President of the United States as the result of a military conflict in an area designated a combat zone by the President of the United States, for the time such member is on active duty and for 180 days thereafter.
(b) Persons exempted under subsection (a) of this section shall provide a copy of their military orders or other appropriate documentation to the municipal clerk in order to secure such benefits. (Added 1991, No. 110, § 3, eff. June 28, 1991.)
- Subchapter 002: COLLECTOR OF TAXES
§ 4641. Liability for mistakes in the tax bill
A collector shall not be liable to an action which may accrue in consequence of mistake, mischarge, or overcharge in the tax bill committed to him or her for collection.
§ 4642. Indemnification
A collector shall be indemnified by the town or other municipality by which he or she is elected or appointed for the damage which he or she suffers by the illegality of the imposition, assessment, or apportionment of a tax or the illegality or informality in the tax bill, warrant, or other precept furnished him or her for the collection of such tax. Such damage may be recovered by him or her of such town, village, or municipality.
§ 4643. Vacation of office upon failure to post additional bond
When the bond given by a collector of taxes or the treasurer of a town or municipality therein becomes insufficient in the judgment of the selectboard, trustees, prudential committee, or the executive officers of the municipality to which such bond was given, they may require in writing an additional bond in such sum and with such sureties as they deem necessary. If the collector or the treasurer does not give such additional bond within 10 days after such notice, his or her office shall be vacant.
§ 4644. Collector's duty on vacancy
On demand of such selectboard, trustees, prudential committee, or executive officers, the collector whose office so becomes vacant shall lodge with the treasurer of the municipality the tax bills and tax warrants issued to him or her and a list of the names of all persons included in such tax bills against whom there are unpaid taxes and the amount due from each. When such collector willfully fails to comply with any of the provisions of this section, he or she shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. (Amended 1971, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 17.)
§ 4645. Successor's powers
The collector of the municipality shall receive from the treasurer of the municipality the tax warrants and tax bills deposited with him or her under the preceding section and complete the collection as though the same had been originally committed to him or her.
§ 4646. Duty to pay over collections
The collector of a town or of a municipality within it, whether or not such municipality has voted to collect its taxes by its treasurer, at the end of every two months and also when demanded in writing by the selectboard or other proper officers of such municipality, shall pay all taxes collected during such two months or since such last preceding payment into the treasury of such municipality. Such collector shall file with the treasurer thereof a list of the taxpayers from whom such taxes have been collected, showing the amounts collected and the years in which such taxes were due.
§ 4647. Collector to direct application
When a collector of taxes makes a payment on account of taxes, he or she shall state the tax on which the same shall be applied. If he or she fails to do so, the treasurer to whom the same is paid shall immediately notify the bondsmen of such collector of the fact that an application of the payment has not been made. Unless the collector shall direct an application within 10 days, the application made by the treasurer shall be conclusive.
§ 4671. Delivery of tax bill to successor
At the expiration of his or her term of office or when a collector removes from the town or other municipality for which he or she was appointed or elected, while a tax bill committed to him or her is uncollected in whole or in part, he or she shall lodge immediately with the treasurer of such municipality such tax bill and the moneys collected thereon. If such collector dies or is placed under guardianship, his or her administrator, executor, or guardian shall perform the same duties on demand by the selectboard, trustees of a village, or city council. Such tax bill shall be audited and reissued to the succeeding collector of taxes who shall receive the same and give his or her receipt therefor.
§ 4672. Liability of collector upon removal
A collector so removing, or the executor, administrator or guardian of a collector who neglects the duties required in section 4671 of this title, shall be liable for the whole amount of such tax bill to the town or other municipality, and shall not have authority to collect such unpaid taxes.
§ 4673. Successor's powers
If a collector having in his or her hands uncollected taxes dies, removes from the State, or becomes otherwise incapacitated after commencing tax collection proceedings, a successor of such collector may complete such proceedings or collect such taxes. An unpaid tax not collected by a former collector may be collected under the same warrant by any successor.
§ 4674. Disability of collector
When a collector of town taxes is unable, from sickness or otherwise, to discharge his or her duties, and taxes are uncollected on a tax bill held by him or her, the selectboard may certify such disability on the warrant for the collection of such taxes and may appoint a person as collector, and in such certificate shall authorize and direct such collector to collect and pay over such taxes. The person so authorized shall have the same power and be subject to the same duties and penalties as the collector to whom such tax bill was originally committed. (Amended 1963, No. 24.)
§ 4675. Death of delinquent collector
When a collector who is delinquent in the collection and payment of State taxes dies, the State Treasurer may give notice to one of the selectboard of the amount of such taxes in arrears and request payment thereof. If such taxes are not paid within 30 days thereafter, such Treasurer may issue an extent against the goods and chattels of the inhabitants of such town, and the same shall be collected as hereinafter provided in this chapter in case of an extent against the inhabitants of a town.
§ 4691. Collector's liability generally
A collector who unlawfully neglects to collect and pay over a tax delivered to him or her shall be accountable for such tax or the arrearages thereof to the treasurer, selectboard, trustees, committees, or other persons authorized to receive the same. Such persons may, and, upon the receipt of a petition from the Director alleging that such collector has unlawfully neglected to collect and pay over a tax delivered to him or her, shall cite him or her to appear before a justice residing in an adjoining town, to show cause why an extent should not be issued against him or her for such arrearages and the costs of such proceedings. Such citation shall be served at least six days before the time appointed for hearing the same. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)
§ 4692. Extent against delinquent collector
When a collector is delinquent in paying over a tax entrusted to him or her to collect and is cited as provided in section 4691 of this title, if it appears to the justice that such collector has not performed his or her duty pursuant to his or her warrant, unless such collector appeals from his or her decision, he or she shall issue an extent, directed as writs of attachment are directed, commanding the officer serving such extent to collect such arrearages and costs of the goods, chattels, or estate of such collector.
§ 4693. Appeal-Procedure
The collector or the person citing him or her before such justice may appeal from the judgment of the justice to the Superior Court, if the appeal is claimed within two hours after the rendition of such judgment. The party appealing shall give security by way of recognizance to the opposite party at the time of taking such appeal that the appellant will prosecute his or her appeal to effect and pay the costs of prosecution. (Amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 4694. Bond by collector
When such collector appeals, within 48 hours after the rendition of such judgment and appeal, he or she shall file with the clerk of the Superior Court to which such appeal is taken, a bond to the State or municipality to whose Treasury such taxes are payable, with sureties to be approved by such clerk, in a sum double the amount of arrearages of taxes as adjudged by such justice, conditioned for the payment of such sum of arrearages of taxes and costs as such Superior Court may finally adjudge to be paid by such collector. When such collector fails to give and file such bond, the justice shall issue an extent as though an appeal had not been taken. (Amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 4695. Superior Court's jurisdiction
The Superior Court shall have authority upon such appeal to try and determine the question whether such extent should issue and to issue the same. (Amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 4696. Distraint of collector's property
When an officer serving such extent distrains the property of the collector, the mode of notifying, advertising, and selling and the time for redemption shall be the same as in cases of sheriffs who do not execute or return an extent. Such collector shall be committed to jail for want of goods, chattels, or estate.
§ 4697. Distraint by copy
When a sheriff, high bailiff, or other officer having for service an extent issued against a delinquent collector of taxes, distrains any class of property which may by law be attached on mesne process by lodging a copy in the town clerk's office, such officer may lodge a copy of such extent, with a list of the property so distrained indorsed thereon with his or her return, in the town clerk's office of the town in which such property is situated. Such lodgment shall give to such officer the same right to hold such property as if attached on mesne process and taken into the actual custody of such officer. Within 48 hours after lodging such copy in the town clerk's office, such officer shall deliver to such delinquent collector or leave at his or her last and usual place of abode in this State, a like true and attested copy of such extent, with a list of the property distrained indorsed thereon, as is required in the like service of writs of attachment.
§ 4698. Excess realized on extent
When a municipality realizes out of the goods, chattels, or estate of such delinquent collector only part satisfaction upon extents against him or her, on demand it shall pay to such collector all sums realized from such tax bills in excess of the just balance due such municipality from such collector.
§ 4699. Discharge of imprisoned collector
When a collector has been committed to jail on any extent and the municipality shall realize on any of the tax bills lodged with the treasurer under this chapter the full amount due from the collector on all such extents, he or she may be discharged from such imprisonment by the order of a Superior judge upon proof of the foregoing facts, on notice to the treasurer of such municipality.
§§ 4700, 4701. Omitted.
§ 4702. Collection enjoined, time not reckoned
When the collection of taxes is restrained by injunction, the time such injunction is in force shall not be considered as a part of the time within which the collector is required to execute his or her warrant.
- Subchapter 003: COLLECTION OF STATE AND COUNTY TAXES
§ 4731. Collection of State and county taxes
When the General Assembly imposes a State or county tax, the State or county treasurer, unless otherwise provided, shall seasonably issue a warrant directed to the town treasurer. Such treasurer shall present such warrant to the selectboard who, within the time required by the warrant, shall draw an order on the town treasurer for the amount of such tax and such treasurer shall forthwith pay the State or county treasurer, as the case may be, the amount of such order.
§ 4732. Instructions on tax warrants
The State Treasurer shall cause to be printed upon the back of each collector's warrant for the collection of State taxes the time when the same is to be paid and the other duties to be performed by the collector as to such payment.
§ 4733. Repealed. 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294c.
§ 4734. County treasurer's powers
The county treasurer in collecting county taxes shall have the same powers as the State Treasurer in collecting State taxes.
§ 4735. Extent against town
When a collector does not pay into the State Treasury a State tax by the time prescribed in the warrant issued to him or her by the State Treasurer for the collection of such tax, the Treasurer shall issue his or her extent to the sheriff of any county, requiring him or her to levy such tax or the amount remaining due on the goods and chattels of the inhabitants of the town from which such tax is unpaid, and such sheriff shall levy and collect the same as aforesaid of the goods and chattels of any such inhabitants.
§ 4736. Owner of property taken may recover over
The owner of goods or chattels so taken and sold may recover of such town payment therefor and 12 percent interest thereon, in a civil action under this section.
§ 4737. Extent against sheriff
When a sheriff does not execute or return an extent nor account to the Treasurer for the sum due thereon within 60 days from the time he or she receives it, the Treasurer shall issue his or her extent against such sheriff directed to the high bailiff of the county where such sheriff resides and the high bailiff shall levy and collect the same of the goods, chattels, or estate of the sheriff as collectors serve their warrants, giving 14 days' notice of the sale of such goods and chattels. If real estate is taken, he or she shall advertise and sell it in the same manner, and the same time for redemption shall be allowed, as in case of the sale of lands by collectors for the payment of taxes. The high bailiff shall commit such sheriff to jail for want of sufficient goods, chattels, or estate.
§ 4738. High bailiff's liability
When a high bailiff does not discharge his or her duty in thus collecting an extent, the Treasurer may recover against such bailiff and his or her sureties double the sum contained in such extent, with costs.
§ 4739. Tax to satisfy extent
When a collector is delinquent and an extent is issued against the town, the selectboard shall immediately make a tax bill sufficient to pay the sum due with the costs and deliver the same to another collector of the town to collect. If there is no such collector, the selectboard shall deliver the same to such person as they appoint. Such collector or person so appointed shall have the same power and be accountable in the same manner as collectors of town taxes.
- Subchapter 004: COLLECTION OF TOWN AND OTHER TAXES
§ 4771. Warrant for collection of taxes
A District judge may issue a warrant for the collection of taxes other than State and county taxes, although he or she is liable to pay a part of such tax. Collectors shall have the same powers in the collection of such taxes as town collectors have in the collection of State taxes. (Amended 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 99, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 4772. Notice to taxpayers
The tax collector shall, at least 30 days prior to the date fixed for the payment of taxes by vote of the municipality, mail to each taxpayer at his or her last known address a notice stating the amount of his or her grand list, the tax rate, the amount of taxes due from him or her and when the same are payable. If a prepayment discount is available, the tax notice shall include information regarding the discount. If no date is fixed by vote of the municipality for the payment of taxes, or if no notice is mailed to the taxpayer at least 30 days prior to the date fixed for the payment of taxes, the date for the payment of taxes shall be 30 days from the date of mailing of notice to the taxpayer.
§ 4773. Date and method of payment; discount
(a) A municipality which has not previously voted to establish the time and method of tax payment for the municipality may by majority vote of its members present and voting at a regular or special town meeting fix a date or dates, time of acceptance, and method of delivery, including acceptance of postmarked mail, for the payment of the tax and may direct its collector, or treasurer as receiver of taxes, to deduct a percent to be fixed by such vote, not to exceed four percent from the tax of a person who pays his or her taxes on or before such date or dates.
(b) A municipality that does not vote to fix a date, time, or method of delivery for the payment of a tax shall accept payment of a tax delivered or postmarked before midnight on the day established in the notice required by section 4772 of this title. (Amended 2003, No. 100 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 4774. Discount allowed
(a) When a municipality votes that its taxes be paid to its treasurer or collector on or before a date or dates fixed, with a discount according to law, then the treasurer or collector may receive taxes in advance, at any time after the municipality has so voted. Such treasurer or collector may allow a discount upon taxes paid in advance of the date or dates fixed, at the rate fixed by such vote.
(b)(1) The treasurer or collector shall deposit to the General Fund any tax overpayment by a taxpayer who has paid by mail or electronic fund transfer, provided that:
(A) the payment made was equal to the taxes due without regard to the discount under section 4773 of this title; and
(B) the overpayment amount is $10.00 or less.
(2) If the taxpayer requests refund of such an overpayment within one year of payment, the treasurer or collector shall refund it. (Amended 1987, No. 13; 2007, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 30.)
§ 4791. Tax bills delivered to treasurer
When a town or municipality within it votes to collect its taxes by its treasurer, the proper officers, unless otherwise voted, shall make and deliver all tax bills to the treasurer of the municipality so voting, and such treasurer shall keep separate accounts of all monies received as highway or school taxes and pay out the same upon orders of the proper officers.
§ 4792. Notice to taxpayers
The treasurer shall, at least 30 days prior to the date fixed for the payment of taxes by vote of the municipality, mail to each taxpayer at his or her last known address a notice stating the amount of his or her grand list, the tax rate, the amount of taxes due from him or her and when the same are payable. If a prepayment discount is available, the tax notice shall include information regarding the discount. If no date is fixed by vote of the municipality for the payment of taxes, or if no notice is mailed to the taxpayer at least 30 days prior to the date fixed for the payment of taxes, the date for the payment of taxes shall be 30 days from the date of mailing of notice to the taxpayer. (Amended 1987, No. 53, eff. May 15, 1987; 1993, No. 68, § 3.)
§ 4793. Warrant against delinquents
(a) Within 15 days after the expiration of the date or dates, fixed under the provisions of section 4792 of this title for the payment of taxes, the treasurer shall issue a warrant against the delinquent taxpayers for the amount of taxes remaining unpaid. Such warrants shall remain in full force until all the taxes thereon have been fully paid or otherwise discharged. The treasurer shall deliver such warrant, together with a rate bill of such delinquent taxes, to the collector of the town or municipality within it, who shall proceed forthwith to collect such taxes.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a municipality may elect, at a special or annual meeting called for that purpose, to have the treasurer issue a warrant within less than 15 days after the expiration of the date or dates, fixed under the provisions of section 4792 of this title for the payment of taxes. A vote under this subsection shall specify the number of days within which the treasurer shall issue the warrant. A vote to shorten the period of time for issuance of a warrant shall remain in effect until rescinded or amended by the voters. For purposes of computing time under this section, "days" means calendar days. (Amended 1997, No. 26, § 2.)
§ 4794. Omissions
When the names of one or more delinquent taxpayers and the amount of delinquent taxes due therefrom, or either, are omitted from a tax warrant issued under the provisions of section 4793 of this title, the treasurer so issuing such warrant, from time to time, may issue one or more additional warrants for the collection of such taxes, provided the same are issued within one year from the date whereon such taxes became delinquent. Warrants so issued and collectors receiving the same shall be subject to the provisions of section 4793 of this title.
§ 4795. Repealed. 1993, No. 68, § 5.
§ 4796. Absconding taxpayers
When the treasurer makes and files with the officers making the tax bill an affidavit that a person whose name is thereon is about to remove or abscond from the State, the treasurer may thereupon issue a warrant against such taxpayer for the amount of his or her tax although such 30 days, as provided in section 4792 of this title, have not expired, and the collector shall execute the warrant. The collector shall be entitled to the same fees for collecting the taxes upon such warrants as he or she is allowed by law in the case of distraint of property in the collection of taxes, and such sum shall be taxed against the delinquent taxpayer. (Amended 1993, No. 68, § 4.)
§ 4797. Taxes based on an amended or corrected grand list
The proper officials in town, village, school, and fire districts, as soon as conveniently may be after a defective or invalid grand list becomes valid pursuant to sections 4262-4264 and 4603 of this title, shall make out and deliver to the treasurer thereof tax bills for all taxes theretofore assessed but not paid. Such unpaid taxes shall become due and payable within the time prescribed by statute provided that time has not theretofore elapsed, otherwise within 30 days from the date of such last named tax bill.
§ 4798. Warrants
Warrants against one or more persons for the collection of the aforesaid unpaid taxes may be from time to time issued as other tax warrants are issued. Nothing in sections 4262-4264, 4603, and 4797 of this title shall be so construed as to require that all taxes so assessed and unpaid on such amended or corrected grand list shall be contained in one warrant.
§ 4799. Hiring tax collector
When a town is without a tax collector, the Selectboard may hire any qualified person to act as tax collector for the town. The person hired need not be a resident of the town and shall have the same power and be subject to the same duties and penalties as a duly elected collector of taxes for the town. (Added 1977, No. 30.)
§ 4821. Procedure
When jurisdiction over property, real or personal, for purposes of taxation is claimed by more than one municipality or is claimed by a municipality in this State and a municipality in another state, a person or corporation whose property is subject to such conflicting claims may pay the tax thereon to any municipality in this State claiming jurisdiction, under protest, or with notice of the other claim of jurisdiction. When it shall be finally determined by any court of last resort having jurisdiction that such property, real or personal, was improperly or unlawfully taxed by the municipality to which such tax had been paid, or if any compromise or adjustment is made which shall place the property in question in a jurisdiction other than that in which it is so taxed, the person or corporation paying the same under protest, or with notice as herein provided, may recover the same from the municipality to which the same was so paid in a civil action under this section.
§ 4822. Limitation on action to recover tax paid under protest
A cause of action for the recovery of money under the provisions of section 4821 of this title shall be deemed to have accrued at the time final judgment is rendered or compromise or adjustment completed, determining the question of jurisdiction of the property in question for purposes of taxation.
§ 4841. Collection delegated
A collector having an unpaid tax against a person who has removed from or resides outside the town in which such collector resides, may make an abstract containing the person's name, his or her grand list and the tax against him or her, and append thereto a copy of his or her warrant certified by him or her, and deliver it to the collector of any town in which such person is or resides. Such collector may collect the tax as the original collector might have done; and his or her powers, liabilities and fees therein shall be the same as if the tax and warrant had been originally committed to him or her. Such collector shall be paid only for actual travel. If he or she arrests such person, he or she shall commit him or her to the jail of the county in which the collector making the arrest resides.
§ 4842. Notice to taxpayer
When a collector has a tax for collection against a person residing outside the town in which the collector resides, he or she may notify such person thereof by a letter containing a statement of the amount of such tax and of the time and place when and where the collector will receive payment thereof. The time appointed for payment shall not be less than 20 nor more than 40 days from the time when the letter is deposited in the post office.
§ 4843. Collection fees
When the person so notified fails to pay such tax pursuant to notice, the collector may collect the same of such person, and shall be entitled to $0.10 per mile for necessary travel, to be collected with such tax and computed as in the service of process by sheriffs.
§ 4871. Article in warning
The warning for each annual town or other municipal meeting may contain an article in substance as follows:
"Will the town (or other municipality) vote to collect taxes on real and personal property in installments?"
§ 4872. Installment dates; discounts
In a town so voting to collect taxes on real and personal property in installments, all such taxes assessed on the grand list shall be due and payable in such installments as the town may vote, not to exceed four in number, payable to the town treasurer or collector. A taxpayer who pays each installment in full on or before the due date thereof shall be entitled to such rate of discount as the town may vote for the payment of each installment. No discount on any installment shall be allowed unless such installment shall be paid on or before the due date thereof. A taxpayer may anticipate subsequent installments and pay the same and shall be entitled to the proper rate of discount applicable at the time of payment. However, in towns where the annual settlement with the auditors is had on January 1, the fourth installment payment shall be due on December 31 preceding. (Amended 1959, No. 22, eff. March 6, 1959; 1973, No. 203 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 3, 1974; 1993, No. 68, § 6.)
§ 4873. Interest on installments
All taxes payable in installments may bear interest if the town so votes at a rate not to exceed one percent per month or fraction thereof for the first three months and thereafter one and one-half percent per month or fraction thereof, either from the due date of the last installment or from the due date of each installment. When a town so votes, such vote shall remain in effect until such time as the town rescinds the same by a majority vote of the legal voters present and voting at an annual or special meeting duly warned for such purpose. (Amended 1963, No. 49, eff. April 19, 1963; 1973, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 20, 1974 for tax year beginning April 1, 1974; 1981, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 2, 1982 for the tax year beginning April 1, 1982, and thereafter.)
§ 4874. Delivery to collector of list of delinquents
Within 15 days after the due date of the final installment or within the time determined by the voters under section 4793 of this title, the town treasurer shall deliver to the collector a list of such unpaid taxes with the name of each delinquent. After giving 10 days' notice in writing of the time and place of payment to each delinquent of the amount of the unpaid taxes and the legal fees thereon, the collector may immediately proceed to collect the same by proper process. (Amended 1983, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 26, § 3.)
§ 4875. Absconding taxpayers
When the town treasurer or collector is informed and believes that a taxpayer whose taxes are unpaid is about to abscond or remove from the town, he or she shall at once institute in the name of the town a civil action to collect the same under sections 5222-5224 of this title, or the town treasurer may proceed under a warrant issued by him or her as provided by section 4796 of this title.
§ 4876. Manner of collection
When a town has voted to collect its taxes under the provisions of sections 4872-4875 of this title, such taxes, including State and county taxes based on the grand list, shall be collected thereunder. (Amended 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Feb. 3, 1978 for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978.)
§ 4877. Lien on real estate
The provisions of section 5061 of this title relating to tax liens on real estate shall apply to all taxes legally assessed and to be collected under the foregoing provisions of this article.
§ 4878. Effect on powers of tax collectors
The provisions of this article shall in no way abridge or enlarge the powers of the collectors as to any method or proceeding provided by existing law as to the collection of delinquent taxes.
§ 4911. Forms of writs
The forms of writs contained in this article, in the several courts of this State, and other proceedings, shall, as near as circumstances will admit, be adopted and used, and shall be sufficient in law; but alterations may be made and allowed by the courts when necessary to adapt them to changes in the law.
§ 4912. Warrant to be issued by a district judge for the collection of town and other taxes
STATE OF VERMONT, } To A. B., collector of the town of
_____________ County, ss. ____________, in the county of
__________, (or to the collector of ____________ school district, or other
taxes,) (as the case may be)
By the authority of the state of Vermont, you are hereby commanded to levy and collect of the several persons named in the list herewith committed to you, the sum of money annexed to the name of each person, respectively, and pay the same to the treasurer of the town of ______________, (or to such other person appointed to receive the same) on or before the _____________ day of _____________; and if any person neglects or refuses to pay the sum in which he or she is assessed in such list, you are hereby commanded to distrain the goods and chattels of such delinquent person, and the same dispose of according to law, for the satisfying of such sum, with your own fees; and, for want thereof, you are hereby commanded either to extend this warrant for the collection of such sum so assessed against such delinquent person, with costs, upon any land in this state belonging to such delinquent, according to law, or to take the body of such delinquent person, and him or her commit to the keeper of the jail, in the county of ______________ (or such other jail as the law directs) within such jail, who is hereby commanded to receive such person, and him or her safely keep until he or she pays such sum so assessed with legal costs, together with your own fees, or is released according to law.
Dated at ______________________ in the county of ___________________ , the _____________ day of __________________________ A.D. 20__________.
________________ , District Judge.
§ 4913. Warrant to be issued by treasurer of a town for collection of town and other taxes
STATE OF VERMONT,} To A. B., collector of the town of _____________ County, ss. ____________, in the county of
By the authority of the state of Vermont, you are hereby commanded to levy and collect of the several persons named in the foregoing list herewith committed to you the sum of money annexed to the name of each person respectively, with your own fees, and pay the same to the treasurer of the town of __________________, on or before sixty days from the date hereof; and if any person neglects or refuses to pay such sums with your fees, you are hereby commanded, etc., (here insert as in § 4912 of this title).
Dated at _____________________ in the county of ___________________________, the _______________ day of ___________________________________ A.D. 20______.
(Amended 1983, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 4914. Judge's order for the assessment of a county tax
To A.B., treasurer of the county of ________________________.
You are hereby ordered and directed, on or before the first day of March A.D. 20______, to issue warrants to the collectors of taxes of the several towns in the county of __________________, for the collection of a tax of ________ cents (or mills) on the list of the polls and taxable estate of the several towns in such county for the year A.D. 20______ for the purpose of paying the debts and expenses of such county. Dated at _____________ in the county of _____________, the _____________ day of _____________ A.D. 20______.
________Assistant Judges of ________ the Superior Court.
(Amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
- Subchapter 005: ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION IN UNORGANIZED TOWNS AND GORES
§ 4961. Assessment of tax
(a) A State tax determined pursuant to this section is hereby annually assessed upon the grand list of the gore in Chittenden County and upon the grand list of the Town of Glastenbury in the County of Bennington and of the unorganized Town of Somerset in the County of Windham.
(b) Annually, on or before August 1, the Supervisor of Buel's Gore shall call a meeting of the residents of the Gore for the purpose of presenting the proposed budget and tax rate for the Gore for the ensuing year and inviting discussion thereon. Notice of the meeting shall be sent by first class mail to all residents of the Gore at least 14 days before the meeting. The meeting shall be held at a place within the Gore or within a town that adjoins the Gore. Included with the notice shall be an itemized proposed budget which shall, in the judgment of the Supervisor, cover the education, road maintenance, and general government costs within the Gore. Also included with the notice shall be proposed tax rates consistent with the budget. Annually, on or before September 10, the Supervisor shall adopt a budget and tax rate and notify the residents and appraisers for the Gore.
(c) Annually, on or before August 1, the Supervisors of Glastenbury and Somerset shall each present the proposed budget and tax rate for the town for the ensuing year. Upon a finding by the Commissioner of Taxes before September 10 that the budget and tax rate are reasonable and show no obvious irregularities, the Commissioner shall approve the budget and tax rate, and the Supervisor shall then adopt the budget and tax rate and notify the residents of the town. If the Commissioner does not approve the budget and tax rate by September 10, the budget shall remain the same as the budget for the prior year, and the Supervisor shall so notify the residents of the town. (Amended 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Feb. 3, 1978 for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978; 1987, No. 58, § 1, eff. May 16, 1987; 1995, No. 63, § 48f; 1997, No. 60, § 57; 1999, No. 49, § 17, eff. June 2, 1999; 2003, No. 1, § 1, eff. Feb. 21, 2003; 2009, No. 50, § 91; 2011, No. 45, § 10, eff. May 24, 2011.)
§ 4962. Tax bills delivered to the Director of Taxes; contents
Annually, on or before July 15, the appraisers for unorganized towns and gores shall make out and deliver to the Director tax bills for the State tax so assessed upon the taxable property in such unorganized places, respectively, based upon the lists annually completed by June 15 next prior thereto. Such tax bills shall contain the name of each person taxed, with his or her residence, if known, and the amount of his or her tax. If a corporation is so taxed, such tax bill shall state its principal place of business. The Director shall issue a receipt for such tax bills. (Amended 1997, No. 50, § 11, eff. June 26, 1997.)
§ 4963. Warrants for collection of tax
Annually, on or before August 1, the Director shall transmit to the supervisors for unorganized towns and gores warrants for the collection of the tax hereinbefore provided for, in their respective places, together with the tax bills received by him or her from the appraisers. Such warrants shall be returnable to the Director on or before August 1 in the year next following the date of issue. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)
§ 4964. List on which county tax assessed
County taxes assessed on or after March 1 in any year and before March 1 following shall be assessed in unorganized towns and gores upon the list returned to the county clerk's office on July 5 in such year.
§ 4965. County tax transmitted
When a county tax is assessed, the county treasurer shall transmit to the Commissioner of Finance and Management a certified statement of the amount of such tax based on the equalized grand list of such unorganized towns and gores as shown by the list filed annually under the provisions of section 4303 of this title. The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall thereupon issue his or her warrant in favor of such county for the amount of such tax out of the funds received by him or her from the tax levied under the provisions of section 4961 of this title. (Amended 1959, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(a), (b); 1971, No. 73, § 11, eff. April 16, 1971; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b).)
§ 4966. Supervisor's duties and powers
A supervisor shall collect and pay over the tax pursuant to the tax bills and warrants committed to him or her. He or she shall have the same powers and be subject to the same duties and liabilities in respect thereto as town collectors in respect to taxes in towns and may, in like manner, sell property of delinquent taxpayers and give conveyances thereof. Such sales shall be subject to the same right of redemption as if made by a town collector.
§ 4967. Transmission of taxes and credit to special fund
(a) All moneys received by supervisors in the collection of taxes or otherwise in the performance of their official duties shall be paid by them to the Department of Finance and Management to be credited to special fund accounts, which are hereby established.
(b) Revenues collected pursuant to this section shall be disbursed based on warrants authorized by the Commissioner of Finance and Management under the authority granted by section 461 of this title, and shall be expended consistent with the budgets adopted pursuant to subsections 4961(b) and (c) of this title. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 2011, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § E.142.1.)
§ 4968. Recording sale of real estate
When the supervisor sells real estate of nonresidents, he or she shall leave the list, tax bill, warrant, and advertisement or copies thereof in the office of the clerk of the county in which the lands lie, who shall record the same. In general, such clerk shall have the powers and be subject to the liabilities of town clerks in the sale of lands of nonresidents and his or her certificate shall have like effect.
§ 4969. Tax stabilization contracts
The supervisor, appraisers, Director of Property Valuation and Review, and the Commissioner of Taxes may negotiate tax stabilization contracts with owners of farmland or forestland located in the unorganized towns and gores in all counties of the State except Essex County. The definitions of "farmland" and "forestland" set forth in subsection 3846(a) of this title shall be applicable to such contracts. (Added 1977, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
- Subchapter 006: ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION IN UNIFIED TOWNS AND GORES OF ESSEX COUNTY
§ 4981. Assessment of tax
(a) A tax determined pursuant to this section is hereby annually assessed upon the grand list of the unified towns and gores in Essex County.
(b) Annually, the Board of Governors of the unified towns and gores in Essex County shall prepare a proposed municipal services budget and establish a proposed tax rate for the unified towns and gores in Essex County for the ensuing year. Annually, on the second Saturday in September, the Board of Governors shall call a meeting of the residents and property owners of the unified towns and gores in Essex County for the purpose of presenting the proposed budget and tax rate based upon the current grand list.
(c) Notice of the meeting and a copy of the proposed budget shall be sent by first class mail to all residents and property owners of the unified towns and gores at their last known address at least 30 days before the meeting. The meeting shall be held in Essex County. The notice shall include the itemized proposed budget and the proposed tax rate.
(d) Annually, on or before September 30, the Board of Governors shall adopt a budget and tax rate, and notify the residents and property owners of the unified towns and gores, the Supervisor, and the appraisers. (Added 1967, No. 331 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1969; amended 1973, No. 58, § 3, eff. April 1, 1973; 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. Feb. 3, 1978 for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978; 1999, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 18, 2000; 2017, No. 98 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 11, 2018.)
§ 4982. Salary and expenses of Supervisor and Board of Governors
The expenses of the unified towns and gores in Essex County, including the salaries of the Supervisor and the three members of the Board of Governors and the reasonable and necessary expenses which the Supervisor and the members of the Board incur in the performance of their duties, shall be met from the revenues from the taxes assessed under section 4981 of this title. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1761 of this title, the Supervisor shall receive a salary to be established annually by the Board of Governors. The members of the Board of Governors shall receive compensation for performance of their official duties in an amount to be established annually in the budget and approved by the residents and property owners of the unified towns and gores in Essex County. (Added 1967, No. 331 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1969; amended 1971, No. 49, eff. April 7, 1971; 1999, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 18, 2000.)
§ 4983. Repealed. 1999, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 18, 2000.
§ 4984. County tax transmitted to supervisor
When a county tax is assessed in Essex County, the County Treasurer shall transmit to the Supervisor for the unified towns and gores within Essex County a certified statement of the amount of such tax based on the grand list of such unified towns and gores as shown by the list filed annually under the provisions of section 4301 of this title. The Supervisor shall thereupon issue his or her warrant in favor of Essex County for the amount of such tax out of the funds received by him or her from the tax levied under the provisions of section 4981 of this title. (Added 1967, No. 331 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1969; amended 2017, No. 98 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 11, 2018.)
§ 4985. Tax stabilization contracts
The Supervisor and appraisers may negotiate tax stabilization contracts with owners of farmland or forestland located in the unified towns and gores of Essex County pursuant to the provisions of 24 V.S.A. § 2741(a) and (c). The definitions of "farmland" and "forestland" set forth in subsection 3846(a) of this title shall be applicable to such contracts. (Added 1977, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
- Subchapter 007: ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF POLL TAXES
§ 5011. Omitted.
§ 5012. Repealed. 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. Feb. 3, 1978 for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978.
§§ 5013-5023. Omitted.
- Subchapter 008: TAX LIENS
§ 5061. Force and effect of lien
(a) Commencing with the date of the filing by the listers of the grand list in the office of the town clerk of the town, taxes lawfully assessed upon real estate shall be a first lien thereon, underlying all mortgages, attachments, liens, or other encumbrances thereon, and all estates for the term of a natural life or lives, for a term of years or for any other duration. Such lien shall remain in full force and effect for a period of 15 years and it may be enforced separately against each parcel of real estate upon which a tax has been voted or assessed. Notice to all parties having an interest in such land shall be given as provided by law or as directed by the Court. Courts at law may issue such execution as the facts warrant, to impress such lien on such real estate.
(b) When the taxes secured by a lien in accordance with this section remain unpaid more than two years after the creation of such lien, such lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as provided by law for the foreclosure of mortgages on real estate. In such case, the parties having an interest in the land on record in the town clerk's office shall be given notice as directed by the presiding judge of the Superior Court. The judge in his or her final decree shall appoint a commissioner who shall be bonded before entering upon his or her duties in an amount set by the judge to sell with the approval of the judge the real estate after time for redemption has expired, which period of redemption shall run for one full year from the date of the decree. The commissioner shall be empowered to execute a conveyance to the purchaser, apply the proceeds of the sale to the amount found due the town, including costs, in the decree, the expense of the sale, which shall include the commissioner's compensation and expenses, and a reasonable fee for the town's solicitor. The commissioner shall first pay out of the proceeds, the expense of sale, the town solicitor's fee and the amount due the town with costs, in order named. The residue, if any, shall be disposed of by the commissioner, with the approval of the judge, in the same manner as proceeds from foreclosure of chattel mortgages. As directed by the judge, the Commissioner shall report his or her doings to the judge, and such report shall be accepted by the judge and judgment rendered thereon before the commissioner is discharged from his or her duties.
(c) [Repealed.] (Amended 1961, No. 125; 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 236(a); 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 69, eff. March 11, 1998; 1999, No. 1, § 60g(c), eff. Mar. 31, 1999.)
§ 5071. Filing and notice of lien
The tax collector of a town with the approval of the selectboard, or the tax collector of a city with the approval of the aldermen, on or after April 1 in any year may file with the town clerk of his or her town for record in the personal property records written notice that a tax lien is claimed by such town upon part or all of the personal property of a taxpayer in such town to secure the payment of the taxes voted by such town at its previous annual meeting, or assessed as provided by 24 V.S.A. § 1523, and levied or to be levied on such personal property of such taxpayer. Like notice shall be given forthwith to the taxpayer or if he or she is not the owner of such personal property, to the owner thereof, and to all persons having a duly recorded lien on such personal property by sending such notice to the last known post office address of each by registered mail with return receipt. If the taxpayer or owner or lien holder is a partnership, such notice shall be given as aforesaid to one of the partners and if a corporation, such notice shall be given as aforesaid to the president or treasurer thereof.
§ 5072. Nature and effect of lien
The filing of such notice shall thereby create and constitute a tax lien on such personal property therein described and shall have priority in law over any other lien having priority in time. Such underlying tax lien shall remain a valid and subsisting lien upon such personal property until such taxes are fully paid or otherwise discharged, but not longer than two years from the date such notice is filed as aforesaid. Such lien shall not be enforceable against a bona fide owner who has purchased such property for value without actual notice of such lien from any person other than the taxpayer to whom such property is listed. A person against whom such lien is enforceable shall not sell, mortgage, exchange, or pledge the property covered thereby, or any part thereof, without procuring the discharge of such lien. A person who sells, mortgages, exchanges, or pledges the property or any part thereof covered by such lien, shall be fined not more than double the amount of the lien on the property so sold, mortgaged, exchanged, or pledged, and one-half of such fine shall be paid to the town claiming such lien.
§ 5073. Form of lien
The tax lien notices shall contain a description of each article of personal property upon which a lien is claimed, give the name and address of the taxpayer or owner of the property and of all other persons having an interest as aforesaid in such property and shall be substantially in the form following:
Notice of Personal Property Tax Lien
To (here insert name and address of all persons required to be notified):
You and each of you are hereby notified that the town (or city) of _____________ in the county of _____________ asserts and claims a tax lien upon certain personal property owned by or in the possession of ________ (taxpayer) ________ of said ________ (town or city) ________ at __________ described as follows: _____________; said lien to secure the payment of the taxes levied or to be levied upon the grand list of said property by the said town (or city) for the year ________
Dated at ____________, Vermont, this ______ day of ________, 20____.
Collector of Taxes __________________
§ 5074. Sales in fraud of lien
A person holding a chattel mortgage or other lien on any personal property on which a tax lien has been created as herein provided, who induces a person to purchase part or all of such personal property for the purpose of avoiding such tax lien shall be fined not more than $100.00. Such fine shall be paid to the town to which such tax is owed.
§ 5075. Foreclosure of lien
Such tax lien may be enforced against a part or all of such personal property by distraint or action at law as provided by this chapter. Such distraint proceedings or action at law shall be instituted within the two year period aforesaid and if commenced thereafter such tax lien shall not attach. Notice that such action has been instituted shall be given by such tax collector to all persons except the taxpayer mentioned in section 5071 of this title in the manner therein prescribed. The form of such notice shall be deemed sufficient if the tax collector sends an attested copy of the original distraint warrant or writ of attachment. Such collector may add to the taxes as costs of collection a fee of $0.50 and postage for each copy so sent.
§ 5076. Sale and discharge of lien
If a person other than the owner of such personal property shall pay the taxes assessed on such property or shall redeem the same from the action brought to enforce such lien, by paying the taxes due thereon and all costs, the amount so paid including costs, if any, shall thereupon be added to and become a part of the debt or obligation secured by such lien. The tax collector in office shall discharge of record a tax lien created hereunder upon payment of the taxes due thereon.
§ 5077. Duly recorded liens
The term "duly recorded lien" shall include a chattel mortgage, conditional sale and lien note, pledge, or attachment lien which has been recorded in accordance with the provisions of law whether in the town clerk's office in the town wherein such taxpayer is then a resident or in the town where he or she has previously been a resident.
§ 5078. Fees for recording liens and discharge thereof
The tax collector and town clerk shall each be paid a fee of $6.00 for making and recording the notice herein provided, including the discharge thereof. Such fees shall be paid by the town upon order of the selectboard or board of aldermen. (Amended 1971, No. 84, § 16, eff. July 1, 1971; 1993, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)
§ 5079. Sale or transfer of mobile homes; collection of taxes
(a) A transfer of ownership of a mobile home shall be made pursuant to the requirements set forth in 9 V.S.A. chapter 72.
(b), (c) [Repealed.]
(d) A mobile home removed from a town without a mobile home uniform bill of sale endorsed by the clerk of the municipality where the mobile home was located as required by 9 V.S.A. § 2602 may be taken into possession by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, or police officer, or by the treasurer or tax collector of the town in which the mobile home was last listed if known, or by the Commissioner of Taxes if that town is unknown. A mobile home taken into possession under this section shall be in the constructive custody of the official, who shall control the use and movement of the mobile home. In taking possession, the authorized officer may proceed without judicial process only in the event that the taking of possession can be done without breach of the peace. Proceedings for collection of the taxes assessed against and due with respect to the mobile home shall then be conducted in accordance with subchapter 9 of chapter 133 of this title.
(e) Taxes assessed against a mobile home shall be considered due for purposes of this section as of the date of removal of the mobile home from the town in which the mobile home was last listed, and the owner shall be liable for fees provided for in section 1674 of this title from the date of removal.
(f) The treasurer or tax collector of any town from which a mobile home is removed without an endorsed mobile home uniform bill of sale as required by 9 V.S.A. § 2602(b) may notify the Director of Property Valuation and Review of the removal giving a description of the mobile home by serial or other number if known. If the Director is notified of the seizure of a mobile home as provided in subsection (d) of this section, he or she shall immediately notify the treasurer or tax collector of the town, if known, in which the mobile home was last listed on the grand list.
(g) Taxes lawfully assessed upon a mobile home shall attach as a lien on the mobile home as provided in section 5061 of this title. (Added 1971, No. 41, § 1, eff. April 7, 1971; amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a); 1977, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. date March 27, 1978; 1983, No. 237 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. May 6, 1994; 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 35a, eff. March 11, 1998; 1999, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 22, eff. May 29, 2000; 2001, No. 101 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 12, 2002; 2009, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2010.)
§§ 5091-5093. Omitted.
- Subchapter 009: DELINQUENT TAXES
§ 5131. Supervision by Director
The Director shall supervise the collection of delinquent taxes by officials of towns and other municipal corporations. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)
§ 5132. Conferences; bulletins; forms
The Director may examine a tax list in the hands of a collector; shall confer from time to time with collectors and advise them concerning their official duties, and furnish them printed instructions and directions relating thereto; shall issue such bulletins as in his or her judgment will aid in enforcing the law, and shall formulate and furnish the necessary forms for the use of officials required to make returns to him or her. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)
§ 5133. Meetings of tax collectors
The Director shall call meetings of collectors of taxes to be held at such places and at such times as he or she shall designate for the purpose of instruction as to the law governing their official duties and concerning the collection of delinquent taxes. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)
§ 5134. Failure to attend meetings; compensation
Collectors shall attend all meetings for instruction to which they are summoned in writing by the Director. When a collector is unable to attend, he or she shall notify forthwith the Director stating the cause of such inability and, in his or her discretion, the Director may summon such collector to attend such other meeting as he or she may designate. Collectors attending such meetings shall receive therefor from the treasury of their municipality not less than $10.00 per day and their necessary expenses. (Amended 1959, No. 8, eff. Feb. 26, 1959; 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)
§ 5135. Returns to Director
Collectors and other officials named in this chapter shall render such assistance, furnish such information and make such returns to the Director in relation to the subject of delinquent taxes and the administration of the law in reference thereto as he or she may require. (Amended 1977, No. 105, § 14(a).)
§ 5136. Interest on overdue taxes
(a) When a municipality votes under an article in the warning to collect interest on overdue taxes, such taxes, however collected, shall be due and payable not later than December 1, and shall bear interest at the rate of not more than one percent per month, or fraction thereof, for the first three months and thereafter one and one-half percent per month or fraction thereof, from the due date of such tax. Such interest shall be imposed on a fraction of a month as if it were an entire month. A municipality having so voted to collect interest as hereinbefore provided, and the amount thereof, shall thereafter collect such interest each year until the municipality shall vote otherwise at a meeting duly warned for the purpose of voting on such question.
(b) Whenever a municipality votes to collect interest on overdue taxes pursuant to this section, interest in like amount shall be paid by the municipality to any person making any overpayment of taxes occurring as a result of a redetermination of the grand list of the taxpayer on appeal provided by chapter 131 of this title. (Amended 1973, No. 86, § 3, eff. for the tax year beginning April 1, 1974, and thereafter; 1981, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 2, 1982 for tax year beginning April 1, 1982, and thereafter; 1997, No. 50, § 12, eff. June 26, 1997.)
§ 5137. Recording delinquent payments
A collector of taxes for a town or municipality within it shall receipt for every payment made to the collector on account of delinquent taxes. Such receipt shall be written in triplicate in a bound book or other permanent record purchased at the expense of the municipality and shall indicate the date of the payment, the name of the person making the payment, the name of the person against whom was assessed the tax on which the payment is to be applied, the year in which such tax was assessed and if a partial payment on an annual tax bill, whether applied on personal property or real estate taxes. Such collector shall deliver the original receipt forthwith to the person making the payment and one copy thereof within 30 days to the town clerk who shall keep such copy on file. Annually, on or before February 5, the collector shall deliver to the auditors of each municipality for which the collector is acting all such bound volumes in which entries pertaining to such municipality have been made during the year ending January 31 next preceding, and the auditors shall audit the books forthwith and after the completion of audit shall return such books to such collector. (Amended 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. Feb. 3, 1978 for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978; 2003, No. 100 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2007, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 31.)
§ 5138. Power of collector as to delinquent taxes
Within 10 years from the time of receiving a tax bill, the collector may collect a tax in any place in the State and execute his or her warrant wherever he or she finds the property or person of a delinquent. When a person against whom the collector has a tax is absent from the State when the tax bill is received or removes therefrom within two years thereafter and has no property in the State which can be distrained for taxes, the collector may collect the tax within six years from the time he or she returns to the State or has known property therein liable to distress.
§ 5139. Collection of taxes by sheriff
A collector having an unpaid tax against a person may make an abstract containing the person's name, his or her grand list and the tax against him or her and append it to a copy of his or her warrant certified by him or her and deliver it to any sheriff or constable. Such sheriff or constable may collect the tax as such collector might have done. The powers, liabilities, and fees therein of such sheriff or constable shall be the same as such collector's in the collection of such delinquent tax.
§ 5140. Collection from estate of deceased
When the property of a deceased person is set in the list to such person's estate without naming the executor or administrator, if the executor or administrator does not pay the taxes assessed on such estate, any personal property of the estate may be taken and sold for the payment of such taxes, with costs, upon the same notice and demand upon such executor or administrator, and in the same manner as provided by law for the collection of taxes. Real estate belonging to such estate shall be holden as provided in section 5061 of this title and may be sold as provided in sections 5252-5255 of this title.
§ 5141. Collection from earnings of municipal employees
(a) If an employee of a municipality is a delinquent taxpayer thereof, a treasurer or tax collector thereof may, after judicial hearing, collect the delinquent tax by causing to be deducted from the disposable earnings of the employee for any workweek an amount not exceeding:
(1) 20 percent of the disposable earnings for that week; or
(2) the amount by which the disposable earnings for that week exceed 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1) in effect at the time the earnings are payable, whichever amount is less.
(b) The deductions may be made from time to time until the taxes, including costs, penalties and interest, if any, are fully paid. This section shall not affect any other means or remedies for the collection of taxes. (Amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 223, eff. March 29, 1972.)
§ 5142. Delinquent taxes; interest and collection fees
(a) The acceptance of full or partial payment of overdue taxes by a town official shall not preclude the town from collecting any unpaid balance of taxes and any interest and collection fees accruing to the town, whether relating to the collected or uncollected portion of taxes.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the treasurer shall accept, on behalf of the collector of delinquent taxes, full payment of overdue taxes tendered after the due date fixed in the notice sent pursuant to section 4792 of this title but before the warrant is issued, provided such payment is accompanied by the collection fee and any interest. Taxes, fees, and interest collected under this subsection shall be turned over to the collector of delinquent taxes when the warrant is issued.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if taxes are not collected by the treasurer and the collector of delinquent taxes and the collector of current taxes are not the same person, the collector of current taxes shall accept, on behalf of the collector of delinquent taxes, full payment of overdue taxes tendered after the due date fixed in the notice sent pursuant to section 4772 of this title but before the list of delinquent taxpayers is delivered to the collector of delinquent taxes, provided such payment is accompanied by the collection fee and any interest. Taxes, fees, and interest collected under this subsection shall be turned over to the collector of delinquent taxes when the list of delinquent taxpayers is delivered. (Added 1985, No. 91; amended 1989, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 24, 1990; 1997, No. 26, § 4.)
§ 5161. Omitted.
§ 5162. List of delinquent taxpayers
Annually, on or before January 15, the collector for a town or a municipality within it, shall make a list of the taxpayers of such municipality whose real and personal property taxes are unpaid as of December 31 next preceding, showing the amounts due and the years in which such taxes were due, certify under oath that such list is correct and deliver the same to the treasurer of such municipality. (Amended 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. Feb. 3, 1978 for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978.)
§ 5163. Certification
The lists described in section 5162 of this title shall be submitted by the collector of taxes to the auditors of such municipality for verification and if correct shall be so certified by the auditors. The lists described in sections 4646 and 5162 of this title shall be open to public inspection.
§ 5164. Penalties
A collector of taxes for a town or municipality within it who fails for 10 days to report as required by sections 4646 and 5162 of this title may be fined not more than $100.00.
§§ 5165-5167. Repealed. 2013, No. 73, §§ 35-37, eff. June 5, 2013.
§ 5191. Property subject to distraint
At the expiration of the time for payment of tax as given in the notice required by subsection 4772(a) of this title or sooner in the case of a person whom he or she has just reason to believe is about to remove from town, the collector may distrain the goods, chattels, and capital stock in a corporation of a person whose tax is not paid. In the case of taxes assessed on real estate, he or she shall not distrain upon apparel, bedding, household furniture necessary for supporting life, one sewing machine kept for use, or provisions not exceeding $25.00 in value.
§ 5192. Distraint by copy
Personal estate which may be attached on a writ by leaving a copy in the town clerk's office or by leaving a copy with the clerk or other officer of a corporation, may be distrained for taxes by leaving in such town clerk's office, or with the clerk or other officer of such corporation, a copy of the warrant with the collector's return thereon, giving a description of the property distrained and the character and amount of the tax; if stock in a corporation is sold by a collector to satisfy a tax, the clerk or other officer whose duty it is to make transfers of stock on the books of the corporation shall transfer the stock so sold to the purchaser on the books of the corporation, and give the purchaser a certificate of stock.
§ 5193. Sale on distraint
When a tax with costs and charges is not paid within four days after distress is made, the collector may sell the property at public auction. At least six days before such sale, he or she shall post notice thereof in a public place in the town where the property was taken. After deducting the tax and his or her charges, he or she shall return the balance realized from the sale to the taxpayer, on demand, with an account of the tax and his or her charges.
§ 5194. Repealed. 1979, No. 21.
§ 5221. Commencement of action; disqualifications
When the treasurer, collector of taxes, or other proper officer has a delinquent tax in his or her hands for collection, he or she may notify the agent or other proper officer whose duty it is to prosecute and defend suits wherein such municipality is interested, of the amount of such tax and of all fees accrued thereon, who, in his or her discretion, may institute suit therefor under the provisions of sections 5222-5226 and 5291 of this title, and a tax collector may institute suits as tax collector in his or her own name and join in one action to recover all taxes in his or her hands for collection against one taxpayer. A constable or sheriff shall not be disqualified to serve and return mesne, final or other process in such suit, by reason of being a taxpayer in such municipality, by reason of being collector of taxes therein, or by reason of any act done or fees in his or her behalf accrued on account of such unpaid taxes.
§ 5222. Taxes collectible by action
Taxes imposed or assessed under the provisions of this chapter and of chapters 127 and 129 of this title and all fees accruing or accrued against the taxpayer on account of delinquency may be recovered with costs in an action brought in the name of the town or municipality within it to which such taxes are due.
§ 5223. Recognizance requirement
A town or municipality within it shall not be required to furnish recognizance or other security for costs in any proceeding instituted under the provisions of sections 5222-5224 of this title; but, unless otherwise provided, upon final judgment, the Court may make such order relating to the payment of costs by the plaintiff for defendant as it shall deem just and reasonable.
§ 5224. Trustee process
(a) A person or corporation may be summoned as trustee of the defendant and the goods, effects, and credits of such defendant in the hands of such trustee at the time of service of the writ thereon or that shall thereafter come into the hands or possession thereof before disclosure, shall thereby be attached and held to respond to final judgment in such cause, notwithstanding the tax or taxes whereon action is so brought are less than the sum of $10.00. A person or corporation so summoned as trustee may be adjudged liable as such notwithstanding the value of the goods, effects, or credits in the hands or possession thereof belonging to such defendant is less than $10.00.
(b) In suits for the collection of taxes by trustee process, when the defendant contests the validity of the tax and does not prevail, judgment shall be rendered against him or her for all taxable costs and execution issue accordingly, notwithstanding such costs are greater than the amount of the judgment against the trustee.
§ 5225. Repealed. 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 237, eff. March 29, 1972.
§ 5226. Presumption of lawful assessment
Except as otherwise provided in sections 5224-5226 and 5291 of this title, a tax bill regular on its face which has been theretofore placed for collection in the hands of the treasurer, collector of taxes, or other officer designated by law to collect the same, in a town or municipality within it so bringing suit, shall be prima facie evidence that the taxes therein standing against the name of the defendant were lawfully assessed against him or her.
§ 5227. Judge not disqualified
A judge shall not be disqualified to try an action for the collection of taxes by reason of being a taxpayer in the municipality where the tax is voted. (Amended 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 102, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 5251. Definitions
As used in sections 5251-5258 and 5292-5295 of this title:
(1) The assessment of a tax shall be defined to mean all acts required by law to be done in respect to such tax by the officials of the town designated by law for that purpose, from the time of the making of a warning for an annual town meeting, up to and including the time that a tax bill is placed in the hands of the town treasurer for collection, in cases where the town votes to collect by its treasurer, or when the town does not so vote, up to and including the time that a tax bill with a warrant annexed thereto for collection has been placed in the hands of the town tax collector for collection.
(2) The collection of a tax shall be defined to mean all acts required by law to be done or permitted by law to be done in respect to such tax, by either the town treasurer or the town tax collector, from the time specified in the preceding section as marking the end of the assessment of the tax, up to and including the last act required or permitted by law to be done by the town tax collector in the enforcement of the collection of the tax.
§ 5252. Levy and notice of sale; securing property
(a) When the collector of taxes of a town or of a municipality within it has for collection a tax assessed against real estate in the town and the taxpayer is delinquent, the collector may extend a warrant on such land. If a collector receives notice from a mobile home park owner pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 6248(c), the collector shall, within 15 days after the notice, commence tax sale proceedings to hold a tax sale within 60 days after the notice. If the collector fails to initiate such proceedings, the town may initiate tax sale proceedings only after complying with 10 V.S.A. § 6249(f). If the tax collector extends the warrant, the collector shall:
(1) File in the office of the town clerk for record a true and attested copy of the warrant and so much of the tax bill committed to the collector for collection as relates to the tax against the delinquent taxpayer, a sufficient description of the land so levied upon, and a statement in writing that by virtue of the original tax warrant and tax bill committed to the collector for collection, the collector has levied upon the described land.
(2) Advertise forthwith such land for sale at public auction in the town where it lies three weeks successively in a newspaper circulating in the vicinity, the last publication to be at least 10 days before such sale.
(3) Give the delinquent taxpayer written notice by certified mail requiring a return receipt directed to the last known address of the delinquent of the date and place of such sale at least 10 days prior thereto if the delinquent is a resident of the town, and 20 days prior thereto if the delinquent is a nonresident of the town. If the notice by certified mail is returned unclaimed, notice shall be provided to the taxpayer by resending the notice by first-class mail or by personal service pursuant to Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.
(4) Give to the mortgagee or lien holder of record written notice of such sale at least 10 days prior thereto if a resident of the town, and if a nonresident, 20 days' notice to the mortgagee or lien holder of record or his or her agent or attorney by certified mail requiring a return receipt directed to the last known address of such person. If the notice by certified mail is returned unclaimed, notice shall be provided by resending the notice by first-class mail or by personal service pursuant to Rule 4 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.
(5) Post a notice of such sale in some public place in the town.
(b) If the warrant and levy for delinquent taxes has been recorded pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the municipality in which the real estate lies may secure the property against illegal activity and potential fire hazards after giving the mortgagee or lien holder of record written notice at least 10 days prior to such action. (Amended 1993, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 16, eff. May 6, 1994; 2017, No. 7, § 2; 2017, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 5253. Form of advertisement and notice of sale
The form of advertisement and notice of sale provided for in section 5252 of this title shall be substantially in the following form:
The resident and nonresident owners, lien holders and mortgagees of lands in the town of __________________ in the county of __________________ are hereby notified that the taxes assessed by such town for the years ____________ (insert years the taxes are unpaid) ____________ remain, either in whole or in part, unpaid on the following described lands in such town, to wit, __________________________________________
(insert description of lands)
and so much of such lands will be sold at public auction at ____________ a public place in such town, on the __________ day of ____________ (month), ____________ (year) at ____________ o'clock ________ (a.m./p.m), as shall be requisite to discharge such taxes with costs and fees, unless previously paid.
Dated at __________________, Vermont, this ______________ day of _____________ (month), ________ (year).
Collector of Town Taxes
(Amended 1995, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 5254. Sale of realty
(a) When the tax with costs and fees is not paid before the day of sale, the real property on which the taxes are due shall be sold to pay such taxes, costs and fees.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the owner of the property being sold for taxes may request in writing, not less than 24 hours prior to the tax sale, that a portion of the property be sold. Such request must clearly identify the portion of the property to be sold, and must be accompanied by a certification from the District Environmental Commission and the town zoning administrative officer that the portion identified may be subdivided and meets minimum lot size requirements. In the event that the portion identified by the taxpayer cannot be sold for the tax and costs, then the entire property may be sold to pay such tax and costs. (Amended 1995, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1995, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. May 15, 1996; 1999, No. 49, § 70, eff. June 2, 1999.)
§ 5255. Report of sale; form
Within 30 days after such sale of the land, the collector shall make a complete return of his or her doings and file the same for record in the town clerk's office of the town wherein such land lies, which return shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated and shall be substantially in the following form:
By virtue of a warrant (or warrants as the case may be) lawfully committed to me for the year(s) 20__________ by the treasurer of the town of __________________ (or by the selectboard of the town of ________________ if the town has voted to collect its taxes by its collector and the tax bill annexed thereto) and the delinquent tax bill annexed thereto, I gave notice as required by law to the taxpayers of the town of ________________ of the place where and the time when I would receive such taxes, and said taxpayers having failed and neglected to pay their said taxes upon such demand, on the ____ day of ________ 20____, I did extend and levy my said warrant(s) in the manner provided by law upon the following described land(s) of the following named delinquent taxpayer situated within the town, for the following described taxes due thereon, to wit:
Name of Delinquent Taxpayer Description of Land Amount of Tax
And on the ____ day of ________, 20____, I did cause notice of the time and
place of sale of the above described land(s) to be published three weeks successively in ________________ a ________ newspaper circulating in the town of ______ and vicinity, for the issues of ________, which said notice of sale therein provided that the same would be holden at __________________, a public place in the town of __________ at ____ o'clock in the ________ noon, unless said land(s) was previously redeemed by the payment of said tax, and on the ______day of _, 20_, I gave the delinquent taxpayer ____ notice by registered mail of the time and place of such sale, and on the same date posted at ____, a public place in said town, notice of the time and place of such sale (also here insert facts as to the mortgagee, if any).
And he or she (or they) having failed and neglected to pay said taxes and costs, at _____________ (place of sale) on the ______ day of __________, 20______ at ______ o'clock in the ________ noon, the time and place set by me for said sale, pursuant to the
notice thereof, I did sell so much of said land(s) as was necessary to satisfy the tax and costs thereon to ____________________________________ of _____________, for cash in the sum of __________, he or she being the highest bidder therefor, the land and premises thus sold being particularly described as follows (here describe the lands).
From the proceeds of said sale, I did satisfy myself for my own fees and the legal costs of said sale amounting in the whole to the sum of _____________, and on the ______ day of ________, 20______, turned over to ______________________________ the treasurer of said town of __________________, the sum of ________________ in (part) satisfaction of the taxes due said town on said premises thus sold.
And now at __________________ in said County, this ______ day of _____________, 20______, I make return of my doings hereunder by filing the same as herein set forth with the town clerk of the town of_______________________________ for record as provided by law.
Collector of Town Taxes.
§ 5256. Sale of lands subject to lease
The reversionary interest of the owner of property subject to lease may be distrained by a collector of taxes, by delivering to the lessor and lessee of such property a copy of his or her warrant with his or her return thereon, giving a description of the taxes and of the property and the lessor's interest. The collector may sell such interest in the same manner as is required by law for the sale of the property for taxes when it is not under a lease.
§ 5257. Sale of realty to satisfy personal property taxes
Real estate of a taxpayer may be levied upon and sold in the manner prescribed in sections 5252-5255 of this title, for the collection of a delinquent personal property tax, but the sale thereof shall be subject to homestead rights and all existing liens and encumbrances of record on such property and all taxes validly assessed on such real estate. (Amended 1959, No. 218, § 2; 1977, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Feb. 3, 1978, for tax years beginning Jan. 1, 1978.)
§ 5258. Fees and costs allowed after warrant and levy recorded
(a) The fees and costs allowed after the warrant and levy for delinquent taxes have been recorded shall be as follows:
(1) levy and extending of warrant, $10.00;
(2) recording levy and extending of warrant in the town clerk's office, $10.00, to be paid to the town clerk;
(3) notices and publication of notices, actual costs incurred, including the costs of service pursuant to subdivisions 5252(a)(3) and (4) of this title;
(4) expenses actually and reasonably incurred by the town in securing a property for which property taxes are delinquent against illegal activity and fire hazards, to be paid to the town clerk, provided that the expenses shall not exceed 20 percent of the uncollected tax;
(5) when authorized by the selectboard, expenses actually and reasonably incurred by the tax collector for legal assistance in the preparation for or conduct of a tax sale, provided that the expenses shall not exceed 15 percent of the uncollected tax;
(6) travel reimbursement at the rate established by the contract governing State employees;
(7) attending and holding the sale, $10.00;
(8) making return and recording the return in the town clerk's office, $10.00, to be paid to the town clerk;
(9) collector's deed, $30.00.
(b) The fees and costs allowed in subsection (a) of this section, together with a collector's fee of up to eight percent, shall be in lieu of all other fees and costs. (Amended 1963, No. 124; 1983, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.); 1985, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1995, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2017, No. 7, § 1; 2017, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)
§ 5259. Municipality may acquire land on tax sale
By the act of its mayor or selectboard, when a tax warrant is extended on any land in this State, the city or town by which the tax is assessed may become the purchaser at the tax sale thereof, if a bid not equal to the tax and costs is made at such sale. When a tax warrant is extended on a mobile home located in a mobile home park in proceedings initiated after notice pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 6248(c), the municipality may purchase the mobile home or may sell the mobile home to the highest bidder at the sale, although the bid is less than the taxes and costs due the municipality. If there is a release or a potential release of a hazardous substance, as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6602(16), upon land that a municipality purchases at tax sale, the municipality shall have the right, prior to the expiration of the redemption period, to enter onto the land for the purpose of assessing and remediation on the land. (Amended 1993, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 6, 1994; 2005, No. 81, § 1.)
§ 5260. Redemption
When the owner or mortgagee of lands sold for taxes, his or her representatives or assigns, within one year from the day of sale, pays or tenders to the collector who made the sale or in the case of his or her death or removal from the town where the land lies, to the town clerk of such town, the sum for which the land was sold with interest thereon calculated at a rate of one percent per month or fraction thereof from the day of sale to the day of payment, a deed of the land shall not be made to the purchaser, but the money paid or tendered by the owner or mortgagee or his or her representatives or assigns to the collector or town clerk shall be paid over to such purchaser on demand. In the event that a municipality purchases contaminated land pursuant to section 5259 of this title, the cost to redeem shall include all costs expended for assessment and remediation, including expenses incurred or authorized by any local, State, or federal government authority. (Amended 1989, No. 119, § 21, eff. June 22, 1989; 2005, No. 81, § 2.)
§ 5261. Deed by collector
When the time for redemption has passed and the land is not redeemed, the collector or his or her successor shall execute to the purchaser a deed, which shall convey to him or her a title against the person for whose tax it was sold and those claiming under him or her.
§ 5262. Recording lands not redeemed
Within 30 days from the expiration of the time for redemption, the collector shall deposit with the town clerk for record a list of the lands which have not been redeemed, but a failure to comply with this provision shall not affect the title of the purchaser.
§ 5263. Limitation of actions against grantee in possession
An action for the recovery of lands, or the possession thereof, shall not be maintained against the grantee of such lands in a tax collector's deed, duly recorded, or his or her heirs or assigns, when the grantee, his or her heirs or assigns have been in continuous and open possession of the land conveyed in such deed and have paid the taxes thereon, unless commenced within one year after the cause of action first accrues to the plaintiff or those under whom he or she claims. (Amended 1959, No. 218, § 5; 2017, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 5291. Disputing validity of tax
In case the defendant disputes the validity of some part or all of a tax for the recovery of which suit is brought under the provisions of sections 5222-5226 of this title, or for the recovery of which a suit is brought by the town for the foreclosure of a tax lien, he or she shall not avail himself of such defense unless, by appropriate answer or notice in writing, he or she shall set forth therein a certified copy of his or her objections to the validity of the assessment of the tax as provided in sections 5292-5294 of this title, obtained from the town clerk of the town wherein the tax is assessed, which certified copy shall show upon its face that the original thereof was filed with the town clerk within the period of limitations prescribed in section 5292 of this title and unless also by appropriate answer or notice in writing, he or she shall set forth all other particular grounds whereon he or she claims such tax is invalid or unlawful. When such grounds are so set forth, the burden of proof shall be upon the plaintiff in so far as the validity of such tax is thus put in issue.
§ 5292. Filing of taxpayer's objections
(a) A taxpayer shall not contest the validity of any tax assessed against his or her person, personal property or real estate nor the validity of the action of the listers or selectboard in assessing such tax nor the validity of any grand list unless the taxpayer filed his or her objections to the validity thereof, in the office of the town clerk wherein the tax is assessed, within a period of two months from November 15 of each year in which the tax is assessed.
(b) If the taxpayer desires to object upon the ground that the notice he or she received, although given in the manner prescribed by law, is based upon invalid or defective proceedings in making up of the appraisal, grand list, or in the assessment thereof, he or she shall file at the place and within the time prescribed by subsection (a) of this section his or her specific objection that the notice received was so based. (Amended 1957, No. 219, § 2, eff. July 1, 1961; 1959, No. 218 § 3.)
§ 5293. Time limitation on assertion of defenses by taxpayer
If the taxpayer is a resident of the State, within six months or if he or she is a nonresident, within one year from the date when collection of the tax might first be enforced against him or her, he or she may assert as a defense against the collection of the tax lack of notice and opportunity to be heard in all proceedings relating to the levying of such tax, including the making of the appraisal and grand list. (Amended 1957, No. 219, § 2, eff. July 1, 1961.)
§ 5294. Time limitations on actions or suits by taxpayer
Unless commenced within one year from the time that collection is sought to be enforced against the taxpayer by arrest, distraint or levy, an action shall not lie wherein a taxpayer may question the validity of:
(1) An act required to be done by a treasurer of a town relating to a tax assessed;
(2) Notice by the treasurer to the taxpayer as to the amount of the tax or the time of the payment thereof;
(3) Acts of the treasurer as to turning over the unpaid portion of the tax bill and the annexed warrant to the tax collector for collection;
(4) Acts of the tax collector relating to the collection of the tax either before or after the tax became delinquent. (Amended 1959, No. 218, § 1.)
§ 5295. Construction of limitation period
For the purpose of determining when the statutory period of one year has begun to run, the following provisions shall apply.
(1) If the taxpayer is arrested on a tax collector's warrant, within one year from the date of his or her arrest.
(2) If collection is sought to be enforced by distraint of personal property on the tax collector's warrant, within one year from the date of the distraint.
(3) If collection is sought to be enforced by sale of real estate, within one year from the date of the levy thereon by the tax collector.
(4) If a taxpayer pays a tax to a town or subdivision thereof under protest, he or she shall commence action for the recovery of the tax thus paid within one year from the time of such payment. (Amended 1959, No. 218, § 4.)