Assessor&Rsquo;S Office

Property Appeal Procedures Board of Assessors

Property Appeal Procedures before the Board of Assessors

All properties have been adjusted to an estimated fair market value as of 4/1/2021.

 

If you are aggrieved by the new valuation and would like to schedule a meeting with an assessor for a property valuation review, please note the following:

 

VT Secretary of State - Tax Appeal Handbook 2007 page 14 (section E)

Burdens

 

There are two evidentiary burdens in property tax appeals, the burden of production and the burden of persuasion. The taxpayer always retains the burden of persuasion, that is, the burden to persuade the trier of fact that the totality of evidence presented favors the taxpayer’s position. The taxpayer also bears the burden of production which means the taxpayer must initially produce sufficient evidence to overcome a legal presumption in favor of the listed value. Once the taxpayer meets the burden of production, the presumption that the listed value is correct disappears. However, the taxpayer continues to bear the burden of persuasion. These two burdens often confuse participants in the appeals process. People ask, “If the burden of persuasion always lies with the taxpayer, what is the point of even mentioning the burden of production?” In a nutshell, the burden of production recognizes that elected officials are, by law, presumed to have performed their duties properly and, therefore, requires the appealing taxpayer to produce some evidence greater than her general belief that her property is listed too high. Simple, though heartfelt, statements such as “I know I can’t sell it for that amount” or “if anyone wants to buy it for that amount, they can have it” do not meet the taxpayer’s burden of production. However, if the taxpayer introduces “. . . credible evidence fairly and reasonably tending to show that the property was assessed at more than fair market value or that the listed value exceeds the percentage of listed value actually applied to the general mass of property in the community. . . . the presumption in favor of the Listers ‘disappears and goes for naught.” New England Power Co. v. Town of Barnet, 134 Vt. 498, 507 (1976). Then “. . . if the town is to prevail, it must meet its burden of justifying the appraisal by producing evidence demonstrating substantial compliance with constitutional and statutory provisions relative to uniformity as well as fair market value.” Id. In short, once the taxpayer puts on some credible evidence, the Listers must be prepared to defend their appraisal. They cannot rest on a defense based on the grand list alone. City of Barre v. Town of Orange, 152 Vt. 442, 444 (1989).

 

Before a hearing is scheduled it is required to submit a letter of grievance or grievance application to the Burlington Assessor’s office. We ask the property owner to file a property appeal through OpenGov website or mail a letter expressing your reasons for the grievance. We prefer to receive a grievance application via OpenGov website because it will expedite the hearing. 

The OpenGov grievance form is  located at:  https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Assessor/Property-Value-Grievance-Application. (*OpenGov form will be open by February 20, 2024*) 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 be signed by the property owner
  • owner of record
  • a mailing address
  • email address
  • phone number
  • Parcel ID#
  • tand property location
  • Income and Expense Report for all Commercial and Rental properties of any number of units (e-mail assessor for form(s)).

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.

 

Board of Assessor Property appeal hearings will be held during business hours, from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Hearings will be held in the later half of the month of May.  

 

For 2024 calendar year the Board of Assessor Hearings will be held the week of May 20-24.

 

Please submit a letter of valuation grievance or grievance application to the Assessor’s Office by:

May 16, 2024 at 4:00 PM

 

The Board of Assessor hearings are 15 minute meetings. This is ample time to address your concerns. Please don’t go over the allotted time out of respect for the next property owner. If more time is needed an additional hearing time can be scheduled. The meetings are to review the property owner’s points of grievance and review the property data. The appraiser/assessor does not make decisions of property value at the meeting.

 

 

Post Board of Assessor hearing:

Property owners whom have been heard by the Board of Assessors will have 14 days from the mailing date on the value decision letter to appeal their property value to the Board of Tax Appeals at the Clerk’s office.

 

 

Send letter to:

Attention: Office of the Assessor

Board of Assessors 

149 Church Street, Ground Flr

Burlington, VT 05401

 

 

 

 

On behalf of the Board of Assessors