BOARD OF CIVIL AUTHORITY
TAX APPEAL HEARING
July 17, 2014
DATE, TIME, PLACE AND PURPOSE OF MEETING
The Board of Civil Authority of the Town of Halifax met Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Office located at the West Halifax Elementary School to hear appeals of persons, or other parties who are not satisfied by the decisions of the Board of Listers at the previously held grievance hearings and who have timely filed their appeals in writing to the Board of Civil Authority.
APPELLANTS WHO HAVE FILED WRITTEN GRIEVANCES WITH TOWN CLERK:
Chester J. Eichler 837 Hanson Road
BCA MEMBERS PRESENT:
Edee Edwards, Earl Holtz and Lewis Sumner (Board of Selectmen); Malcolm K. Sumner, Craig J. Stone and Joan Wonsey-Courser (Justices of the Peace); and Patricia Dow, Town Clerk were present. Kaitlin Stone and Patricia Pusey were absent.
Charlene Martynowski, Chairman and Joe Tamburrino were present, Phyllis Evanuk was absent.
CALL TO ORDER:
The BCA tax appeal hearing was called to order by Craig Stone, Chairman at 7:16 P.M.
A nomination was made by Lewis Sumner nominating Craig Stone as chairman and seconded by Malcolm Summer. It was so voted 7-0.
DESIGNATION OF POLLING PLACE
A motion was made by Malcolm Sumner to designate the Halifax School Gym as the polling place and was seconded by Lewis Sumner. It was so voted 7-0.
DESIGNATION OF POLLING HOURS
A motion was made by Lewis Sumner to have the polling hours continue to be 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the motion was seconded by Earl Holtz. A short discussion about voting hours and if there were any voters that had complaints regarding those hours. Absentee voting is easier now, and we should suggest to anyone that may have difficulty with the voting hours that Absentee voting is available. 10-7:00 pm is the minimum that voting can take place, with 7:00 p.m. being the latest time a voter can cast a ballot. It was so voted 7-0
APPOINTMENT OF BALLOT CLERKS, ASSISTING CLERKS AND ASSISTANT ELECTION OFFICIALS
A motion was made by Edee Edwards and seconded by Lewis Sumner to give the authority of appointments to the Town Clerk. It was so voted 7-0.
GUIDELINES FOR APPEALS TO THE BOARD OF CIVIL AUTHORITY and “ARE YOU APPEALING”
“Guidelines for Appeals to the Board of Civil Authority” (a summary of the key points from A Handbook on Property Tax Assessment Appeals revised 2009, and made available by the Office of the Secretary of State and the Division of Property Valuation and Review) and the publication “Are You Appealing?” (An introductory guide to property tax assessment appeals and published by the Vermont Institute for Government) was made available at the Town Clerks Office. Both publications listed above and the 2009 A Handbook on Property Tax Assessment Appeals along with the notice of tax appeals and a copy of the grievance letters received from the Appellants was provided to each member of the BCA.
OATHS TAKEN BY BCA MEMBERS AND LISTERS
BCA Chairman Craig Stone administered the oath to the Board of Civil Authority members. Malcolm Sumner administered the oath to Craig Stone. Chairman Stone administered the oath to the Listers. Chairman Stone administered the oath to the appellant. The oaths were then signed by each participant.
LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY and APPELLANTS LETTER
The property under appeal is located at 837 Hanson Road and consists of .7 acres of land including a house. The appellant’s letter was read in its entirety.
PARCEL ID: HAN.0837
SUMMARY OF LISTERS TESTIMONY
A chart and written information on 837 Hanson Road along with 4 comparables was submitted into evidence. Listers cards were submitted for all parcels considered comparables. Hanson 837 is one house of three of a kind located on Hanson Road. Each A-Frame of three of a kind are very similar with slight differences. The appellant gave the listers a comparable on 107 Old Stage. This property is larger, has more acres and valued higher than 837 Hanson. Mr. Eichlers property was on the market for a little over 2 years. Per the request of the appellant the Listers did a reval shortly after purchase. The property was reduced from $ 98,400. to $ 85,800 with a reduction of $ 12,600.
SUMMARY OF APPELLANTS TESTIMONY
Chet Eichler purchased the property in February 2014 for $ 65,000. The assessment is relatively correct with the exception of the condition of the roof and chimney which are in need of repair or replacement. The basement is half on foundation and the other have on post pier over a boulder. Basement contains quite a bit of moisture. His concern is the resale value. The property being the middle house of three of a kind. It shares a community driveway, community well and community septic. The Driveway is not paved nor is Hanson Road. The driveway is not extendable due to a leach field being in the front of the house. All of these items are detriments to the property and that is why it was on the market for two years. The basement should not be considered finished. It has cinder block walls. An Inspection Report was submitted into evidence.
During the reval process, it was discovered that the fireplace was missing from the original listing which added to the assessed value. A bedroom was removed making the property a two bedroom instead of three. Reduced the land grades. Changed the wall from 8” block to 6” block. The basement is partially finished and is very small.
Questions what constitutes Fair Market Value? The detriment that property has situated between the other two properties.
APPOINTMENT OF INSPECTION COMMITTEE
A review committee of three (Joan Wonsey-Courser, Edee Edwards and Malcolm Sumner) will conduct a site visit on Tuesday, July 29, 2013 or Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 7:15 P.M. and report back to the board on Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 7:15 p.m..
ADJOURNMENT OF CHESTER EICHLER TAX APPEAL HEARING at 7:50 P.M.
Minutes dated July 18, 2014
Board of Civil Authority