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Tuesday, April 30, 2019 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Event Location: 
Lake Morey Resort
1 Club House Rd
05045 Fairle , VT
FREE for VLCT and VLCT PACIF Members
Registration Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2019


This workshop is for selectboard members, listers, assessors, justices of the peace, town treasurers, and town clerks. Come learn what your town needs to do to conduct effective property tax assessment grievances and appeal hearings. Participants will have time to ask questions, discuss common problems, share success stories, and learn from each other’s experiences.

This workshop is eligible for 3.75 General and 1 Ethics Continuing Legal Education Credits


Program Highlights

  • Mock BCA hearing
  • Expert guidance from the Vermont Tax Department
  • BCA toolkit to take back to your offices
  • Review determining Fair Market Value and property equalization
  • Conducting fair hearings


Attendee Takeaways

  • Learn about your specific role in the tax appeals process
  • Big picture overview of the tax appeals process from start to finish
  • Solutions to common ethical dilemmas in the tax appeals process
  • Best practices for conducting hearings
  • Understanding your role in relation to other local tax officials
  • Lifelong friendships (smiley face emoji) - just kidding



Registration Opens (light breakfast provided)


Welcome and Overview

Abby Friedman, Director, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center


Intro and Overview of Tax Appeals in Vermont

This session will provide an outline of the day and summarize the broad framework of the tax assessment appeal process to help put everything in context.


Introduction to Fair Market Value and Equalization

In this session, a representative from Property Valuation and Review (PVR) will introduce the central concepts of assessment appeals including fair market value and equalization.

Christie Wright, District Advisor Supervisor, PVR, Vermont Department of Taxes




The Role of the Board of Listers in the Tax Assessment Appeal Process

In this session, we will examine the lister grievance process, from change of appraisal notices through grievance decisions. We will also review deadlines and discuss the role of contracted professional appraisers in grievances.

Susan Senning, Staff Attorney I, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center



Due Process and Ethical Dilemmas of Lister Grievances and BCA Appeal Hearings

Black’s Law Dictionary defines a fair hearing as a “judicial or administrative hearing conducted in accordance with due process.” A fair hearing is only possible in a consistent and impartial environment. This session will cover due process rights, management of evidence and best practices throughout the hearing process, as well as how to manage ethical dilemmas in the context of both lister grievances and BCA appeal hearings.

Carl Andeer, Staff Attorney II, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center




The Board of Civil Authority’s Role in the Tax Assessment Appeal Process

A taxpayer who is not satisfied with a decision of the listers may appeal to the BCA. This session will describe the legal and practical parameters within which the BCA must operate, paying attention to the hearing process, site inspections, and the decision-making process. We will also touch on appeals of the decisions of the BCA to either the state appraiser or superior court.

Garrett Baxter, Senior Staff Attorney, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center




Mock BCA Hearing

In this session, we will conduct a mock BCA hearing with the assistance of designated “listers” and “members of the BCA” to demonstrate how to deal with common issues that arise during BCA hearings.

VLCT Municipal Assistance Center Attorneys

Vermont Department of Taxes PVR Staff


Event Conclusion and Complete Evaluations