Board of Abatement Meeting Minutes: September 19, 2018

Attending: Carol Hesselbach, Priscilla Cotton, Dick Marek, Shelley Huber, Gary Delius, Evelyn Sirois, Melissa Brown, Doris Knechtel, Mary Ann Clarkson, Bob Crego, and Samantha Wilson-Delinquent Tax Collector

The hearing was called to order at 6:00 PM. The Chair, Priscilla Cotton, asked the board members to introduce themselves for the record.

The Oath was administered to Samantha Wilson, Delinquent Tax Collector by the Chair.

1. Abatement Request by Delinquent Tax Collector for uncollectible taxes in the amount of $134.42 for tax years 2014-2016 on trailer (E-77.1) owned by Marc Stephens and previously located on Parcel E77, 138 Auger Hole Rd.

Discussion: Unlanded mobile home. Question by Doris Knechtel as to why we were discussing this again since we discussed it last year. Why are we abating again? After discussion, it was believed that not all the years were abated last time and that there would be no harm done if we repeated ourselves. Dick made a motion to abate taxes in the amount of $134.42 for 2014-2016. Seconded by Gary. No discussion. Motion approved unanimously.

2. Abatement Request by Delinquent Tax Collector for uncollectible taxes on Kenolie trailers in the amount of $4,372.06 for tax years 2012-2017.

Discussion: Samantha indicated that these are all new properties to abate. Some trailers gone, some owners deceased. Dick made a motion to abate $4,372.06.

Seconded by Evelyn. Discussion about finding a solution to this recurring problem.

Decided to wait to discuss at end of meeting. Motion approved unanimously.

3. Abatement request by Delinquent Tax Collector for taxes on Parcel A-056, 1134 South Wardsboro Road owed by Malcom Wilson which was sold at a tax to the Town of Newfane and not redeemed, in the amount of $1,819.16 for the 2016-2017 tax year.

Discussion: Dick said this one is, as he understands it, that we are abating taxes we would pay to ourselves. Dick moved that we abate the taxes of $1,819.16 to at least save ourselves a check. Evelyn seconded. No discussion. Motion passed unanimously.

4. Request by the Delinquent Tax Collector to reopen the request of Hallie & Monte Moffit regarding abatement of the 2015-2016 taxes in the amount of $1,743.02 because they have paid the taxes for the 2017 fiscal year as the

Discussion: Priscilla asked if there was any further explanation? No further information.

Gary made motion to abate since the 2017 taxes were paid as we requested and it is clearly a hardship. Seconded by Evelyn. Dick said he was in favor of it last year. Evelyn was pleased she had paid the 2017 taxes in full which was more than we asked of her since we only required $55 per month. No further discussion. Motion passed unanimously.

General discussion of work of Delinquent Tax Collector and the Board was happy that there were fewer Kenolie trailers on the abatement list this year..

Doris explained the things she discussed at the VALA meeting. She said there are bills introduced every year about the problem of taxing travel trailers. She found out that some towns do not tax them and there is no penalty. She is going to evaluate how much Kenolie brings in in taxes and State parcel payments versus how much it costs the Town to collect the taxes. It was suggested at the VALA meeting and by the District Advisor that the Listers could make a policy not to tax the trailers. She is going to suggest to the Legislature that the Towns should be allowed to decide if they want to tax them. Dick said there was an alternative to have legislation change to tax the owner of the property for the taxes and they collect it as part of their rent. Doris did not think that was fair as the owner of the land would be being taxed on property that the landowner did not own and the owner is frequently unable to get even the rent paid. The land is taxed higher than bare land. Dick proposed switch to an income approach but Doris doesn’t think we could get the income information and we would have to apply that to all businesses in town. Doris will look at the numbers and the Listers will come up with a policy if it makes sense to do that. She will explain it to the Selectboard but does not need their approval.

Motion made by Dick that we adjourn, seconded by Gary. No discussion. Motion passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted by,

Carol Hesselbach
Town Clerk/Board of Abatement recorder