Present: Priscilla Cotton, Richard Marek, Frank Suponski, Doris Knechtel, Lynn Forrest, Apple Gifford, Gary Delius, Carol Hesselbach, Marion Dowling, Evelyn Sirois, Bob Crego and Melissa Brown.
Carol Hesselbach handed out the requests for abatement and copies of the statutes as to why property could be abated.
Priscilla Cotton, chair, called the meeting to order at 7:50 p.m.
Everyone introduced themselves. Witnesses Hallie Moffit and James Schafer were sworn in.
Hallie Moffit requested tax abatement for all past due taxes and first quarter 2018 taxes due to her health and lack of income. Priscilla asked Hallie to explain why she is requesting the abatement. She said that she has been making payments but with the interest and penalties she is not getting anywhere, can’t seem to get caught up. Has health problems. Is currently in Grace Cottage but got a pass for the hearing. Hoping to get the arrears abated and begin making regular tax payments in October. Tried to pay as much as she could.
Evelyn Sirois asked if she anticipated being able to make payments in October. Quarterly payment. What is going to happen in October? James said previously she was not getting disability but is now. Hallie said retroactive disability was only 3 months. Evelyn asked what her disability payment was? Hallie said that she gets $840. Evelyn asked could she make small monthly payments? Hallie said she had been making small payments but could not get caught up. She said she meets both 6 and 8 on the list of acceptable reasons for abatement. That is unable to pay and total disability.Spending some money to fix up the camp.
Richard Marek said abatement is totally discretionary so we have the authority to abate but, as Gary said, sets up a precedent. Also there is the issue of abating the taxes but the person cannot keep up with current taxes and really should have sold. Seeing pattern of nonpayment. Melissa got a list of payments she had made and explained the spreadsheet. Richard said his personal feeling was that if he saw a year from now that all the current taxes were being paid he would be more inclined to abate the old taxes, interest and penalty. Lynn gave the property value of $28,000. Richard said he is kind of tempted to suggest that, since abatements can be applied for every year and if we are unable to abate the taxes now, we could reconsider next year. He would be inclined to look back next year and see if all the current year taxes were paid and then abate the older ones. That abating the taxes would not be just letting her dig herself in deeper. Very extraordinary action for this board to take, frankly never viewed it would help applicant with inability to pay to abate taxes. Doris asked, what if we abated the taxes for 2013-2014, and then she can pay the 2017 taxes, and if she does we could abate the rest. Maybe that would ease her mind and have her continue with quarterly payments, so that she doesn’t get penalty and interest. Discussion about what monthly taxes would be, about $55, she believes she could do that. Evelyn asked was this her first request for abatement? Answer was yes, she did not know before that she could apply. General discussion about the suggestion Doris made. Doris made a motion to abate the taxes, interest and penalty for 2013-2014 tax years, and have Hallie pay $55 a month for 2017 and other years she is delinquent we can apply again for abatement and we can consider those years then. Seconded by Frank. Any more discussion? Hallie will start to pay in September, by mail or in person, sometime before the 10th of month. Priscilla called for a vote. All in favor.
Short break taken.
Priscilla asked Melissa to explain what we were looking for with the list before us. Melissa said most of list were Kenolie and Samantha and she were unable to locate most of the owners. Discussion that need to get legislature to change laws about taxing the trailers. Joel Rodrigues situation? Melissa said yes there are several other situations on the list.. Doris made a motion to abate the taxes, interest and penalty for all of Kenolie for a total amount of $8074. Seconded. Discussion of what can be done, could this be collected? Lynn complimented Samantha and Melissa on trying to track these people down. Explained that if there is a camper on lot for 180 days, Listers get to put a value on it and tax the camper. Are these people vacation people? Most are and most pay the taxes. The Delinquent Tax Collector and the Treasurer corrected the amount abated to $10,272.55 due to updated interest and penalties.
Several voices: Call the motion
Priscilla Cotton: All right. All in favor? All said Aye. Motion passed unanimously.
Priscilla: Melissa there are several other properties on the list. Do you want to explain?
Melissa: Gilbeau and Stevens had a trailer on Auger Hole Road which they moved out in May.
Gary Delius: Motion to abate
Seconded by several voices
Priscilla: All in favor? Unanimous aye votes.
Melissa: The next one is owned by Newfane and I found it still in the system.
Doris: I can explain. This is the property on Dover Road that was owned by Marie Perroni. The Town bought it August 16, 2016, through the hazardous mitigation grant program. I checked and none of the real estate taxes that were due were paid at closing. It should have been abated before. It is not on the tax roles for this year. These are 2016 taxes.
Gary Delius: Motion to abate.
Several voices: Second
Priscilla: All in favor? Unanimous ayes. Motion passed.
Gary Delius: Motion to adjourn
Several voices: Second.
Priscilla: All in favor. Unanimous ayes. Meeting adjourned.
Respectfully submitted by,
Recording Clerk, BoA