The City of Burlington is appealing South Burlington's tax assessment on airport property ties, including the home buyout program.

City of Burlington Appeal Process Underway

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Thursday February 28, 2013

When the Board of Civil Authority conducted a tax assessment in 2012-2013 on 124 properties at the Burlington International Airport, they came up with a number of $73 million. When the City of Burlington appealed, the BCA evaluated their numbers and confirmed that they were accurate, theraefore, the appeal was denied. However, the City of Burlington has appealed once again and the issue has moved on to Vermont Superior Court. 

At the City Council Meeting  Monday, February 19, City Attorney Bob Fletcher explained to councilors that the scope of the appeal is substantial, given the number of properties. They will likely have to proceed with litigation without knowing what Burlington thinks their property is worth vs. South Burlington’s assessment, as well as how vast the difference may be. If the result concludes that the initial assessment by BCA was higher than it should have been, South Burlington would be obligated to pay, with interest, a tax refund to the City of Burlington, which includes education, grand list, and municipal taxes. If the opposite occurs, Burlington would pay South Burlington. 

Given the financial implications involved and the average timeframe similar cases typically take in Superior Court (several years, according the Fletcher), theare is impetus to come to a resolution as soon as possible. To that end, Interim City Manager Bob Rusten has reached out to the City of Burlington to initiate conversations as to how to arrive at a fair resolution to the problem sooner rather than later. Burlington seems open to the possibility, after they have their own private appraisal of the properties conducted.  

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent