By Kara Herlihy
Listers in the town of Warren are in the midst of the second round of grievance hearings following homeowners' receipt of the 2008 tax appraisals in August.
The town-wide reappraisal elicited a huge response from taxpayers, many of whom expressed concerns over how the new valuations will affect their taxes.
Under the new appraisal the appraised value of property in the town more than doubled, from $3,654,973,000 to $8,072,392,000. That means that many properties have likewise more than doubled in valuation. That does not mean that peoples' taxes will more than double, explained town lister Priscilla Robinson.
The Board of Civil Authority will hear the 64 formal appeals, in the second tier of grievance hearings. The first round of hearings was held on three days in August, where a total of 218 taxpayers appealed their revaluation.
"I have received numerous calls, emails and visits from taxpayers who are concerned with the impact the new valuation will have on the taxes. Valuations increased approximately 50 percent, but taxes will not double. In some cases the taxes will increase somewhat; in very few cases the tax may be down slightly depending on the ratio," Robinson explained.
The 64 BCA hearings will commence October 2 and hopefully finish by November 15, according to Robinson. "We've been really lucky with grievances in Warren," Robinson said.
Following the first round of grievance hearings, the town sent out the tax bills, which were then due no later than November 10. Those whose grievances progress to the second level will present their arguments before the BCA, who will respond to the appeal following a property inspection and researching of comparable properties.
If the appellants are not satisfied with the decision on their appeal, the next step is an appeal at the state level, taking their grievance to a state appraiser or Vermont Superior Court.