Assessor’s Office

Assessment Appeal Procedures

Property Appeal Procedures before the Board of Assessors

*** Tentative schedule for the appeal process, actual dates may vary ***

 

BOARD OF ASSESSORS

PROPERTY VALUATION HEARING PROCEDURES

 

 

Dear Burlington property owner,

 

If you are aggrieved by the City Assessor’s new valuation and would like to meet with the Assessors for a property valuation appeal meeting, please note the following.

 

Before a meeting has been set up it is required to submit a letter of grievance to the Assessor’s office. We ask the property owner to file a property appeal through our website or mail a letter expressing your grievance and reasons for the grievance. We prefer to receive a grievance application via website grievance application form because it saves time and we may be able to address your issue before the scheduled hearing. 

 

An online grievance application is at the bottom of theis web page. This can be filled out and submitted online to the Assessor’s Office for scheduling of an appointment. Alternatively, you can submit a letter of grievance to the Assessor’s Office. The letter should include reasons for the appeal of the property value, owner’s opinion of value, and it should be signed the property owner. The letter should also include; owner of record, a mailing address, email address, phone number, Parcel ID#, and property location.

Upon receiving your online grievance application or letter of grievance our office will contact you for scheduling a hearing date and to request any additional forms or information that may be needed prior to the hearing.

Property appeal hearings with the Board of Assessors will be held during business hours, from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00  P.M. Hearings will be held on May 18th – May 22nd.

 

The property owner must submit a letter of grievance to the Assessors Office by:

May 18, 2020 @ 4:00 PM

 

In an effort to maintain the health and wellbeing of property owners and city employees we will maintain social distancing during the Assessor property appeal hearings. For this reason all property appeal hearings will be conducted by a conference call into our phone system or through a video meeting from the computer.

 

The Board of Assessor hearings are 15 minute meetings. The meetings are to review the property owner’s points of grievance and review the property data. The BOA does not make decisions of property value at the meeting. There is a review period over the next 30 days. The BOA will notify you of their decision the last week of June by mail.   

 

John Vickery, City Assessor

On behalf of the Board of Assessors

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 (for May 2020 social distancing - hearings will be video or phone conferencing)
  • Property appeal hearings will be held around the third week of May during business hours. If the date falls on a weekend, no hearing will be held and our office will determine the need to add additional weekday date(s).
  • 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  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, the petitioner, arrive late, you forfeit your hearing. BOA hearings are scheduled for 15 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. Late arrivals should expect a rescheduled hearing. Late arrivals will be considered as a walk-in appointment. Therefore, you will have to show up on a time or day that is not already scheduled or wait for a no show appointment, by another petitioner, to be heard by the BOA.

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 (BTA). 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?
Yes, you need to pay your taxes based on the property value being appealed.

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.