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Hi Joyce:

I expect you're really looking for comments from elected town officials, so
my apologies if I'm being a buttinsky. But in my opinion, Vermont law
authorizes towns to set a "due date" not a "due time." 32 V.S.A.  Sections
4772, 4773, 4774, 4792, 4793, et seq.  I think including a time in a notice
is fine -- it essentially informs taxpayers of your office's closing hour.
But if you happen to stay open a little after 4:30 and if a taxpayer makes
it to your office after 4:30 but before you close, I think you should accept
payment as timely made on the "due date" in accord with the above-referenced
statutes.

Charles L. Merriman
Special Assistant Attorney General
Department of Taxes, Division of Property Valuation and Review
PO Box 429 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05601-0429
Tel. (802) 828-2731
Facsimile (802) 828-5873


----- Original Message -----
From: "Wallingford Town Clerk" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 1:55 PM
Subject: tax due date and time


One of the articles on our town warning each year for the voters to consider
is date (varies) and time (4:30 p.m.) of taxes due. It also states that
postmark dates will not be excepted. This information is also printed on our
tax bills. We do not have a town manager system of government, so once the
taxes become delinquent they are turned over to an elected delinquent tax
collector.

My question relates to the recent ruling in Clarendon. A $1600 penalty
charge was refunded after recommendation from the Secretary of State's
office (the person came in ten minutes after the 4:00 time due). Clarendon
did not vote as we do which may or may not have tainted the issue, however
part of the ruling which I found most interesting  is as follows (taken from
Rutland Herald article 12/12/03).

Kathleen DeWolfe stated "It is the opinion of our office that the treasurer
must accept payments without penalty until midnight on the date that taxes
are due". She said nothing in state law on tax due dates provides
information on office hours.

Comments out there?

Happy holidays to all!

Joyce Barbieri, Wallingford Clerk/Treasurer