Home News and Features Grievance Period Pushed Back Two Weeks; Flood Victims Can Apply For Tax Abatement 

Grievance Period Pushed Back Two Weeks; Flood Victims Can Apply For Tax Abatement 

Property tax text on brown paper house model with dollar banknotes on dark wooden table. Concept for real estate property tax.
Image courtesy of vecteezy.com.
Because of the flood, the city has pushed back the deadline for appealing property values established in the recent reappraisal — known as filing a grievance — until August 4. Additional grievance hearings will be held July 31 to August 4. 

The reappraisal sets property values based on fair market values as of April 1, 2023, so impacts from the July flood will not be considered in establishing assessments. However, Vermont law establishes a process called abatement that allows property owners to apply to have their property taxes, including business personal property taxes, reduced in whole or in part.

Among other reasons, abatement may be granted for “taxes upon property lost or destroyed during the tax year” and also for “taxes of persons who are unable to pay their taxes.” Abatement forms can be requested from the city clerk’s office, including by email sent to jodum@montpelier-vt.org (put “abatement” in the subject line). 

Abatement hearings will likely be held in October or November, according to city clerk John Odom. Any tax reduction will apply to a pro-rated portion of this year’s taxes, based on the time period the property is out of service or destroyed.

The Montpelier Board of Abatement rules on all abatement requests. The board includes the assessor, treasurer, city clerk, city council, and justices of the peace, according to Odom. Those who apply should plan on appearing in person or by a representative at their hearing and should have evidence their property has been damaged or destroyed, which presumably could include photos. Those appealing on the basis of inability to pay may need to provide income statements or other financial documents.

City assessor Marty Lagerstedt said he expects there could be many abatement requests for the business personal property tax, in addition to requests to abate the property tax on buildings damaged by the flood. The business tax is a tax on personal property such as computers, furniture, cash registers, and the like. The city collects the tax from about 500 businesses, he said. 

Odom said the Montpelier Board of Abatement will have to set some process for dealing with the large number of expected abatement requests. He said he plans to contact the Vermont League of Cities and Towns soon for ideas about how to handle the potentially large volume.

According to Lagerstedt, about 320 property owners came in for the informal property tax reappraisal hearing process, and 100 of those owners got some adjustment. So far, about 75 property owners have now filed grievances, he said, and about half of those hearings were held before the flood.

New grievance requests must be received at the assessor’s office, or by mail or email, by August 4. Grievance hearings will be held July 31 to August 4 at the Montpelier Senior Center.

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