TOWN OF HALIFAX
NOTICE OF DECISION
TO: Halifax Board of Abatement
Collector of Delinquent Taxes
Ann & Russell Torrey
FROM: Patricia Dow, Town Clerk
DATE: January 18, 2019
RE: Tax Abatement decision for Parcel ID: han.1357
1357 Hansen Road, Halifax, VT 05358
A tax abatement hearing was called by Patricia Dow on January 7, 2019 for Ann and Russell Torrey to be held on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss an error made by the Vermont Department of Taxes on behalf of Ann and Russell Torrey. Span # 276-087-10222. The property is Residential and has an Assessed Value of $ 169,700.00.
The following Board of Abatement members were present: Craig Stone, Lewis Sumner, Kaitlin Stone, Mitch Green, Bradley Rafus, Joan Courser, Mary Brewster and Patricia Dow. All Board members were given the oath and all signed accordingly. The appellants, Ann and Russell Torrey were not present. Craig Stone explained the statutory process about abatement is relieving taxpayers from the burden of property taxes, penalty or interest when the law authorizes abatement and when the board agrees under title 24 VSA 1535. Stone also gave a brief explanation of a quasi-judicial Board.
A letter written by Patricia Dow on behalf of the Torrey’s was submitted into evidence along with an email from the State of Vermont Tax Department and an email from an Attorney from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. Patricia Dow explained the reason for the hearing. The email from Lisa Pinkus, Vermont Department of taxes, states the Torreys filed their Homestead Declaration timely on March 14, 2018. The filing was missing key information to fully process their filing. The additional information was received and corrected on August 3, 2018 which should have prompted the State to process a payment to be sent to the Town of Halifax in the September 15, 2018 download. Key information was not entered by the tax department which did not allow the payment to be sent. The error was not realized until November 6, 2018 and was too late to send a payment to the town. A refund check was sent directly to the Torreys. The State is not in a position to refund a taxpayer for an interest and penalties which have occurred due to the states error. The interest and penalty which has accumulated to date is:
Penalty $ 178.58
Interest $ 48.78
Total: $ 227.36
The abatement request was pursuant to the following category:
Taxes or charges in which there is a manifest error. 24 V.S.A. 1535 (a)(4).
Lewis Sumner made a motion to abate the accumulated penalty and interest in the amount of $227.36 for Ann and Russell Torrey. The motion was seconded by Joan Courser. A vote of the board was taken, 6 in favor, 0 against, the motion was so passed.
A motion was made by Mitch Green to adjourn the hearing at 6:45 p.m. and was seconded.
I hereby certify that this is a true record of the action taken by the Board of Abatement.
Craig Stone, Chair of the Board of Abatement
A decision of the Board of Abatement may be appealed to the Superior Court in accordance with Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.
A decision of the Board of Abatement does not affect the tax assessment for the property.
A copy of this decision shall be recorded in the office of the Town Clerk and a certified copy shall be forwarded forthwith to the Collector of Delinquent Taxes and the Town Treasurer pursuant to 24 V.S.A. 1536.
STATE OF VERMONT)
I, Patricia Dow, Town Clerk of the Town of Halifax within said county and having by law the custody of the seal, records and files of said office do hereby certify that at a meeting of the Board of Abatement of the Town of Halifax held on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, it was voted to forgive the interest and penalties for Ann and Russell Torrey in regard to an error made by the Vermont Department of Taxes in the amount of $ 227.36 for the fiscal year 2018-2019 taxes.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed the seal and subscribed by name at Halifax in said county this 18th day of January 2019.