John Cushing et al.

Here is a note I sent to the league for their consideration.  Comments???

Barry Isaacs

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 12:58:52 -0500
To: VLCT_Jeffrey
From: Barry Isaacs <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: House Bill 31
Cc: Mendon_New_Staff

Steve, I discussed this with Harry Chen and then the Mendon Selectboard kicked it around again last night.

Everybody is for the bill, the question is the revenue hit on the towns.

Why is it necessary to have single, state-wide, fixed rate for mortgage recording?  We propose that this fee be set at the town level.

Think about this,

(a) The current draft of the bill is not "revenue neutral" to the towns.  This will exert more upward pressure on the local property tax impacting a group of tax payers that is already on the verge of mutiny due to educational funding.

(b) In Mendon's case $85 dollars makes us "revenue neutral".  In some other towns the number may be $50.  In others it may be $150.  A state wide fee will not and cannot satisfy all the towns.

(c) In many cases (fortunately Mendon is not one of them) these fees serve as part of the Town Clerk's compensation package.  Do you really want to mess with that can of worms?

I'd like the league to consider this.  It would be a shame to lose what is conceptually a very good bill because we can't agree where to set the local compensation bar.



Barry M. Isaacs
Selectboard Chair,
Town of Mendon, Vt.