The Board of Civil Authority is a quasi-judicial 21 member board consisting of fifteen Justices of the Peace, the Selectboard members and the Town Clerk. The Board’s duties are serving as an election official and assisting on Election Day and sitting on tax appeals and serving as a members of the board of tax abatement. Meetings are held on an as needed basis after being duly warned by the clerk.
The Board of Abatement consists of the Selectboard, Justices of the Peace, Assessor, Treasurer and Town Clerk. The meetings are a quasi-judicial proceedings that falls under the open meeting law 1 V.S.A. § 312. Tax Abatements are not tax appeals. There are no deadlines for an abatement request. They must be a written request sent to the Town Clerk and the Board has no deadline on when to hear them. A taxpayer is not required to attend the meeting but is encouraged to do so. The Board will consider the request whether or not the taxpayer is at the meeting.
Abatement requests must meet the following criteria per 24 V.S.A. §1535(a)
• taxes of persons who have died insolvent;
• taxes of persons who have removed from the state;
• taxes of persons who are unable to pay their taxes, interest, and collection fees;
• taxes in which there is a manifest error or a mistake of the listers
• taxes upon real or personal property lost or destroyed during the tax year;
• the exemption amount available under 32 V.S.A. §3802(11) to persons otherwise eligible for exemption who file a claim on or after May 1 but before October 1 due to the claimant’s sickness or disability or other good cause as determined by the board of abatement; but that exemption amount shall be reduced by 20 of the total exemption for each month or portion of a month the claim was filed late.
• taxes upon a mobile home moved from the town during the tax year as a result of a change in use of the mobile home park land or parts thereof, or closure of the mobile home park in which the mobile home was sited, pursuant to 10 V.S.A. §6237