Grievance and the Appeals Process
Appeals / Grievances
In Vermont, appeals of property assessments (property values) are known as Grievance Hearings with the Assessor/Lister. Per state statute 32 V.S.A. § 4111, an abstract of the Grand List must be filed with the town clerk each year of all the property values in the town. In Hartford, the list is typically filed mid-May yet per statute the deadline is June 24th. This is known as the Abstract of Individual Lists
When the list is filed, a Change of Appraisal notice is sent to any property that has a change in value. Anyone can appeal their value regardless of whether there was a change or not, in any given year. All assessments are subject to appeal by the respective property owners. Anyone who wishes to appeal must file a timely Grievance Application with our office no later than the close of business on the first day of the official Grievance Hearing.
There could be more than one reason you may receive this notice. It may be there was a value change in your property assessment or you may have a new allocation of your homestead/housesite declaration value. Also, if you are in the Current Use program, a letter is sent of your new value allocations.
Grievance is an official time period by statute and is the first level of the appeals process. Once it begins and if you have not filed, you will not be able to appeal until the next year. To appeal to any other level in the appeals process, you must have participated in the grievance appeal process first.
The office will post an official notice to the public on this website, in the newspaper and any other official posting locations for town notices. As well as post any change of appraisal notices. This usually occurs in May.
What to expectYou may grieve in 1 of 3 ways; in person, by representation (with the written permission of the owner), or by mail. In all instances, you must file the form with our office by either contacting our office for an application form, or you may download a form (PDF). You will be contacted by our office to set an appointment. Please arrive 15 minutes early and have copies of any documentation you present to give the board to support your grievance. If you select an in person hearing you must appear for the appeal to be heard, if you do not show, then we will consider your appeal withdrawn.
It is the policy of the Assessor to conduct interior inspections of all properties under appeal. Without this interior inspection, we cannot verify the physical data on the property. Please make sure the property will be available the afternoon of your grievance appointment.
For vacant parcels of land, no inspection appointment is necessary, unless a taxpayer wishes to accompany the Assessor/Listers.
It is important to note that at the next local level of appeal, the Board of Civil Authority (BCA), an interior inspection is required by law as part of the proceedings.
NOTICE OF GRIEVEANCE 2019The assessors mail the notices of assessment to all property owners and posted on this website the abstract of the Grand List for inspection of property owners.
In May/June of each year a date is set by the assessor to meet at the Hartford Town Hall, to hear appeals of taxpayers aggrieved by actions of the assessor from whom timely grievances have been received. To be timely, such grievance must be in writing and received (postmarks not accepted) by the close of business on the first day of the appeal hearings. For more information please call (802)295-3077.
At the close of grievance hearings, the assessor shall make such corrections in the abstract as were determined upon hearing or otherwise.
Notices of Grievance Results
Notices of Grievance Results will be mailed within 2 weeks after hearings are closed. This notice will contain information regarding the procedure for appealing the decision of the Assessor/Listers to the BCA.
Appeals beyond the local level go to either the Vermont Superior Court or to the Director of Property Valuation and Review. Each level of appeal must be completed before the next can be scheduled. Please make sure you understand the deadlines and procedures for each appeal level for the dates are firm in statute.32 V.S.A. § 4111
For additional information, see the Property Appeals Handbook in Additional Information on the main screen.