Testimony of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Ted Brady, Executive Director
House Government Operations
Regarding H. 641 (Abatement and Classes)
February 8, 2024
My name is Ted Brady, and I am the Executive Director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, which represents all 247 cities and towns in Vermont. Thank you for asking for the League’s opinion about H. 641, a bill that would make it possible for Boards of Abatement to consider tax abatement requests as a class, or to put it another way, as a group.
VLCT largely supports the concept of giving municipalities the ability to more efficiently and effectively process abatement requests. Boards of Abatement are largely volunteer boards, and when disasters occur, the amount of abatement requests can overwhelm a Board’s agenda. As such, we support the intent of the bill.
VLCT would recommend making one significant change to the legislation, making the ability to consider abatements as a class only under criteria (a) (5), “taxes or charges upon real or personal property lost or destroyed during the tax year;”
We feel this is the only time such an action would be necessary, and as such, think the language should be specific to that issue.
Thank you for considering making improvements to the abatement process. I’d be happy to take any questions.