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Cyclical appraisals underway, tax credit deadline approaching


April 01, 2021
The appraisal cycle is underway, and 1,000 homeowners will be notified about taking part in a routine appraisal. At the same time the deadline to file for certain tax credits is coming in the next few weeks.

Finance director Holly Burbank gave the selectmen an update on her department during Wednesday's meeting.

Right now, the department is preparing the first tax warrant of 2021, which will go out around April through the first of May.

The process for appraisal updates is getting underway. Burbank said 1,000 letters were sent out to homeowners regarding inspections as part of the regular appraisal cycle. The letters will ask homeowners to call and make appointments for appraisal inspections, Burbank said the office has been busy with these lately.

Selectman Kevin Hayes said a few weeks back an assessor came to his house.

"Very cordial, very professional, easy task; everyone should do it," Hayes said.

Applications for veteran's tax credits and elderly exemptions are due by April 15.

Board chair Gus Benavides suggested putting that information on the town's Facebook page to get the word out.

"Something as simple like that would make a big difference in people's lives, just reminding them what the deadline is," Benavides said.

The first quarter sewer billing went out in early February and they're waiting for the bills to be issued as the sewer department reads meters. Billing for the Gunstock Acres Village Water District will also be coming up soon.

Looking at the year before, Burbank also said abatement requests "sharply declined" in 2020. That year, 23 abatement requests were made compared to 84 the previous year.

Burbank said she was gathering documents for the annual audit and there were many pages that needed to be scanned. This year the auditor is doing a hybrid model which includes an in-person visit, which she said they greatly wanted.

"I hoped they would come here and do the audit because it's much quicker," Burbank said. "It's anywhere from three to five days and its done, last year it took three months to do."

The department is also working on the regular computer replacement cycle including getting pricing and reaching out to different department managers to see what they need for their technology. Every year, the town replaces around 13 to 15 computers.

Martin Lord Osman
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