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Hi All, 
 
We are receiving many questions this week about petitions to renew the property tax exemptions of volunteer fire and rescue properties.  Since it appears that many of these organizations have tax exemptions that may be expiring this year I have attached the law and sample petition language below.  Note that selectboards can choose to add such an article to the Town Meeting Warning on its own motion, without requiring a petition.
 
I hope this is helpful.
 
Deb

32 VSA 3840. Charitable and fraternal organizations

When a society or body of persons associated for a charitable purpose, in whole or in part, including fraternal organizations, volunteer fire, and ambulance or rescue companies, owns real estate used exclusively for the purposes of such society, body or organization, such real estate may be exempted from taxation, either in whole or in part, for a period not exceeding ten years, if the town so votes. Upon the expiration of such exemption, a town may vote additional periods of exemption not exceeding five years each. (Amended 1961, No. 24, eff. March 17, 1961; 1975, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), 1.)

 

A petition (which needs to be signed by 5% of the voters) could look like this:

 

We the undersigned voters of the Town of ________ here by petition the selectboard to put the following article on the town meeting warning:

Article 1.  Shall the voters vote to exempt for a period of five years the property which is located _________, and which is owned by _________  and is used exclusively for the purposes of such organization.

 

 

 

Deborah Markowitz

Secretary of State

26  Terrace Street

Montpelier, Vermont 05602

802-828-2148