Bobbi,

 

I know that my town clerk is never wrong, but I don’t think April 1st is about accommodating the listers.  Since the beginning of time, nobody has ever looked out for listers.  It is the most unappreciated office in Vermont government.  Am I right?  

 

This is all about money and timing:  Back in the day, when Vermont was truly an agrarian state, an April 1st assessment date allowed the listers to lodge the abstract in early summer, the selectboard to send out tax bills in late summer after everyone had their chance to grieve (and, by the way, complain about the listers), and the tax collector to collect property taxes in the fall.  Fall was when those hardscrabble Vermont farmers were most likely to have a little cash to pay their tax bills. 

 

For what it is worth, I believe New Hampshire also uses April 1st.   I could very well be wrong, but my guess is that the Vermont General Assembly copied New Hampshire law when it adopted Vermont’s first value-based property tax system in 1841. Why re-invent the wheel?  

 

Jim