I’m clerking my first Board of Abatement hearing this evening and have a few questions I hope you all can help me with:
1) Is the board limited in what testimony it can take? I know some members of the Board have additional knowledge about certain properties, and will be tempted to use that knowledge in making their decisions. (Example: The owner of an apartment building damaged by fire is seeking abatement. However, according to one board member, the owner has no intention of making any repairs to the building. He has accepted his insurance check and has the property on the market. The asking price is considerably higher than what the assessor is using in his recommendations for abatement)
2) Can the Board take payment histories into consideration? What about if requestors are currently delinquent in tax payments or water & sewer payments?
3) I couldn’t find anything in statute regarding delivering oaths to board members or requesters prior to giving or receiving testimony. Am I required to do so? Is the text for the oath available somewhere?
Carolyn S. Dawes
Barre City Clerk/Treasurer
Barre City Hall
6 N. Main St., Suite 6
Barre, VT 05641
(802) 476-0264 fax