General description of the jobs of the Listers:
Listers are public officials, elected for three-year terms, who are responsible for the valuation of real property (real estate) in the town.
The first basic responsibility of Listers is to appraise all personal and real property at Fair Market Value. When a Lister is elected, they take an oath to do just that.
Listers have to understand appraisal methods and property assessment administration in Vermont. This involves taking courses, attending municipal officers’ meetings, and keeping up to date on State statutes and any other regulation that affects the job of Lister.
Between the years in which complete town wide reappraisals are completed, corrections, additions and adjustments are made to maintain equity among properties. To do this, analyzing and interpreting sales data is necessary. A log book is kept of sales of all properties. This information is used to develop a land schedule, as well as to keep abreast of the market. Survey letters are sent to buyers and sellers asking for information about the sales that would help us better understand the market.
Listers must be knowledgeable about governmental regulations, methods of determining value, the Current Use program, subdivision regulations, personal property, Veterans exemptions, tax mapping, and keeping up to date on current legislation affecting Listers and their towns.
Responsibilities of the Lister Board
The Listers are responsible for the preparation and overall maintenance of the Grand List, a comprehensive list of every property in Vernon, ensuring that it is as accurate and equitable as possible.
The Listing (valuation) year runs from April 1st to March 31st of the following year. Thus for any given year, the owner and condition of the property is effective as of April 1st. The Listers are responsible for appraising all real property in Vernon in compliance with applicable Vermont State statutes. The duties also include updating changes resulting from address changes, work with tax maps, and maintaining the State’s Current Use program. The Listers periodically inspect properties in order to keep data current. Typically, the Listers perform exterior inspections of new and existing structures. Whenever possible an interior inspection is done. Without an interior inspection, errors in reporting can occur, which may not be in favor the taxpayer. Please note any changes made as a result of an inspection represent data corrections only, not market adjustments.
Appeals and Grievances
Vernon property owners have the right to appeal or “grieve” their property assessments. Property tax assessments are appealed in the form of grievance hearings held with the Board of Listers. If a property owner disputes the appraised value, they may grieve. A taxpayer participating in the grievance process should gather information on comparable properties as well as check their property card for any inaccurate information.
All persons who have sent in a letter of grievance will be notified of the dates of the hearing. (Generally hearings are held mid to late June). Two weeks following the conclusion of hearings, a Result of Grievance notice will be mailed. This notice will contain information regarding the outcome of your appeal, and the procedure for appealing the Lister’s decision to the Board of Civil Authority. Appeals beyond the local level go to either the State Appraiser or to Vermont Superior Court.
Property Card (Listers’) Information
Information on each property is available from the Listers’ office.
A reminder to taxpayers:
Every taxpayer who resides in Vermont and claims a homestead is required to file their Homestead Declaration every year, on or before April 15.
- To file online go to: https://tax.vermont.gov/tax-forms-and-publications/property-owners. You can bring up the two forms: HI 144 Household Income and HS 122 Homestead Declaration
- To print the forms go to: https://tax.vermont.gov/tax-forms-and-publications/property-owners Click on HI 144 Household Income Click on HS 122 Homestead Declaration
The Lister position is unique to the state of Vermont, and it was established before Vermont became a state. The name originated in Vermont’s early days because tax assessors were charged with the duty of “listing” all real and personal property owned by each landowner. In 1778 “An Act Directing Listers in their Office and Duty” called for citizens to give in writing “a true account of all their listable polls and their ratable estate”. This list was to be thoroughly examined and validated by the Listers. Since items were assigned listed values by category and not by market value, Listers were appropriately named.