A big win for the Town of Colchester. The Vermont Supreme Court has sided with the town in dispute over property taxes for some lake front homes.
The issue arose two years ago during a town-wide reassessment. Tax bills jumped for dozens of homeowners when the town began assessing them at full fair market value -- even though the land the homes sit on is leased land and already being taxed separately.
Forty-four property owners appealed the assessments and a Superior Court judge found in their favor. But the Supreme Court sided with the town, saying all properties must be taxed at fair market value out of fairness to other taxpayers.
"What the town is doing is taking a trailing look at the market and relying on the values that the town says they are. And the town looks at those values that are chosen by the market and says those are the values we're going to go with those and rely on what the market tells us it is," said Brian Monaghan, an attorney with the law firm Monaghan, Safar, Dwight.
Colchester town officials say they are very pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling.