Assessment Appeal Procedures
Property Appeal Procedures before the Board of Assessors
*** Tentative schedule for the appeal process, actual dates may vary ***
Steps and Information
- Contact our office to set up an appointment time. Our phone number is (802) 865-7114
- A taxpayer must submit a letter of grievance or an online grivance application to the Assessor's Office before the end of the second week of May, unless otherwise notified
- Obtain the Property Appeal Information package and forms that you will be required to complete prior to the hearing. You may fill out and submit an Application of Grievance Form at the end of this page
- Taxpayer or a representative of the taxpayer must appear at the hearing
- Property appeal hearings will be held from May 20 through May 25, during business hours
- Keep in mind, some issues can be resolved easily. Please review your assessment card for data accuracy. Bring any discrepencies to our attention! The Assessor's Office will attempt to correct the data without delay
The City of Burlington collects property taxes based on an adjusted estimated market value of each taxable property within its jurisdiction. It is the job of the Assessor's Office to establish fair values for all taxable property. Establishing a fair tax value for over 11,000 parcels is not an easy task for the Assessor's Office. Property valuation appeal hearings are an important part of the process. Information from property owners can be very helpful for determining an appropriate assessment.
When can a property appeal be made?
At any time, a property owner can submit a written request for a property appeal. Board of Assessors (BOA) Appeal hearings are held in May. If a property owner misses the May deadline they will have to wait until the next year for their appeal hearing to be held. Valuation appeals are for the current tax year, not prior years assessments.
When are the property appeal hearings conducted?
After a letter of appeal is received the owner is notified of receipt of the letter, and the property value is reviewed. It is often useful to speak informally, either at the Assessor's counter or on the phone, to clarify issues regarding the subject property. The owner will be notified by letter of their scheduled appeal hearing time. The property Appeal Hearings typically are held in the month of May. Arrive to the hearing at least 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
What happens if I am late to the hearing?
If you, tthe petitioner, arrive late, you may forfeit your hearing. BOA hearings are scheduled for15 minutes. Your right to more time or a different time slot is not guaranteed if you are late! Partial hearings times may not be honored if you arrive late and you may not be able to reschedule. Late arrivals should expexct they will have to request a hearing as a walk-in - this means you will have to show up on a time or day that is not potentially scheduled or wait for a no show appointment, by another petitioner, to be heard by the BOA.
the subject’s data, our office will compare the subject to the real estate market. A staff member from the Assessor's Office may schedule a site visit with the owner to confirm property data in question. We will review the most comparable recent property sales (1 year to 18 months), within Burlington to establish a fair market value for the property being reviewed. When the market value is established the property is adjusted to the equalization rate for that category of property type.
Will I be notified if my property value has changed?
State law requires the City to notify property owners of a change in their appraised value. Our office sends a letter to the property owner of record if a change in assessed value has occurred. State law requires that Municipalities post the legal warnings for the grievance hearings. The law requires that there be 14 days between the date of the notice and property appeal hearings.
What recourse can be taken if I do not agree with the assessed value that the Board of Assessors has determined for my property after a property appeal?
The next level of property value appeal procedures is to the Burlington Board of Tax Appeals. A letter of property appeal has to be submitted to the City Clerk's Office. The BTA will only consider property valuation tax appeals that were recently appealed to the Board of Assessors. The BTA makes a determination of the subject’s fair market value based on evidence given at a BTA hearing. The BTA considers testimony from the property owner and testimony from the City Assessor. The BTA has an inspection committee visit the subject property. The inspection committee reports back to the BTA their findings and opinion. The BTA makes a final decision based on their estimation of fair market value adjusted to an equalization rate.
What is an Equalization rate?
The Equalization rate is a rate of adjustment that will be applied to the subject property’s estimated fair market value so that the subject property will be assessed at a fair level of assessment based on the relationship between a property’s assessed value and the estimated fair market value.
Do I need to pay my taxes when an appeal of my property value is pending?
You are appealing your property value assessment, not your taxes. Therefore, you must pay your taxes pending the outcome of your appeal. If a determination to change the assessed property value is made, taxes will be recomputed for the remaining balance due for the tax year.
What recourse can be taken if I do not agree with the assessed value that the Board of Tax Appeal has determined for my property?
The tax payer can appeal to either the Board of State Appraisers or to Vermont Superior Court. The City Clerk will inform you of your optios and the steps necessary for each of the two appeal options. To appeal you must:
- File a notice of appeal with the City Clerk within 30 days from the date the decision was mailed to you
- The City Clerk will provide you with a list of all interested parties with instructions to serve notice upon them. You must then serve notice upon all interested parties and serve notice on the court.