Abatement Application Process

Goals of Process


The goal is to process the abatement applications within the time limits as defined by the state:
  • Fair consideration to each
  • Avoid lengthy delays between application and action
  • Avoid the need for extension requests
  • Build on mutual trust of the Board, Public and professional assessor
  • Reduce town having to pay interest and/or reissue bills (if into following fiscal year)

Process


  • Town appraiser analyzes application (see "Property Analysis Steps" attached) and inspects property (See "Field Guide for Abatement Site Visits")
  • Folders ready for review by Board members no later than 3 business days before meeting (example, Tuesday morning before Thursday meeting)
  • Agenda listing properties to be considered on web no later than 3 days before meeting (example, Tuesday morning before Thursday meeting)
  • Also posted in the Town House

Meeting Procedures


  • Town Appraiser will present the facts of the application
  • Board Members will try to limit discussion to 5 minutes per application
  • Taxpayers who wish to be present and speak at the meeting will be given 5 minutes to add to their abatement application
  • Decision may or may not be rendered at the same meeting
  • If more time is needed, the Board will break up to hear taxpayers on an individual basis for reconsideration later as a group
  • Denial notice or abatement certificate will be sent within 10 days of the decision, explaining how to appeal the decision at the Appellate Tax Board (ATB)

Property Analysis Steps


  1. Thoroughly review abatement application
  2. Check data in file for historical changes and activities
  3. Check sales history
  4. Look at value and timing, if any, of building permits
  5. Review other assessments to ensure equity of assessment
  6. Analyze issues raised
  7. If appraisal or other data submitted, analyze for relevance and impact
  8. Check Sales
  9. If recent sale, check sales verification form
  10. Check all sales for any and all comps
  11. Do site visit
  12. See attached Site Visit Guidelines
  13. Speak with applicant, if possible
  14. Confirm data
  15. Review comps, may include drive-byes of area for equity, particularly noting sales

Field Guide for Abatement Site Visits


  • Take latest version of property record card
  • Confirm all building elements (heat, air conditioner, number of bedrooms, number of full bathrooms and half bathrooms, total rooms, front porch, extra features, number of stories), interior floor and wall cover, exterior wall and roof cover, grade (notes) depreciation, note bath and kitchen condition
  • If sale relevant to current fiscal or subsequent, verify sales information
  • If virtual sketch, indicate appropriate sub areas
  • Take outside measurements only (except where delineating between finished and unfinished, such as basements and attics)
  • Photo at least front and rear, also tricky design features/roof lines and view (if any) (only exterior photos), outbuildings view (if any)
  • Note any remarkable land issues
  • Explain process and ask if desire to attend when BOA considers the application
  • Schedule hearing at BOA meeting