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11/26/2008

 Waitsfield voters will be asked to vote on two property tax stabilization measures at Town Meeting in March.

The select board considered both requests at its November 24 hearing. The first was brought by town resident and planning commission member Brian Fleisher. His proposal, based on a state statute, would exempt alternate energy sources from property tax valuation. The state statute allows voters to make that determination by majority vote.

According to the state statute, alternate energy sources include "any plant, structure or facility used for the generation of electricity of production of energy used on the premises for private, domestic or agricultural purposes, no part of which may be for sale or exchange to the public. The term shall include, but not be limited to grist mills, windmills, facilities for the collection of solar energy or the conversion of organic matter to methane, net metering systems regulated by the public service board . . . and all component parts thereof including land upon which the facility is located, not to exceed one-half acre."

The second request for property tax stabilization/abatement came from a South Burlington man, Lou Lertola, a retired Commander Sergeant Major. His request is for the town to increase the property tax exemption for veterans from $10,000 to $40,000. There are four taxpayers in Waitsfield who currently qualify for and receive the $10,000 reduction in the appraised value of their properties.

Town Administrator Valerie Capels said that, based on a home appraised at $250,000, the current exemption saved each vet $8 and would save them $32 if increased to $40,000.  

Both proposals will come before voters at agenda items at Town Meeting in March.
 
--LAL

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