Randy Viens

Assessor, Assessors Office

The mission of the Department of Real Estate Appraisal is to provide a legal and fair basis for the taxation of real property as required by the Essex Charter and Vermont Statutes and to furnish to others, access and explanations of the information gathered by the department in the course of its required duties. Due the nature and ramifications of assessment, public relations are a very important aspect of this office.  Open communication is essential in order to give the public the awareness and understanding of our duties and responsibilities. In addition the office administers Farm and Open Land tax stabilization contracts, the State Land Use Program and provides statistical reports to other departments and governmental units as well as assist the state tax department in performing the annual equalization process.  

Act 60 continues to create additional work for this department. We will closely monitor any Legislative changes that will affect the operation of this office as it relates to the education grand list values.  The prebate program makes it necessary for us to annually maintain and update the homestead value on all residential properties.  This program also generates many additional questions when it comes time to file for state income taxes.

Each year, the state pays the town $6.00 for each parcel of taxable real property.  These funds are to be used only for a reappraisal or for grand list maintenance.  In addition, the town will receive $1.00 per parcel for services provided to the commissioner, specifically for assistance with the annual state equalization study.

By far the most important and direct impact of Act 60 on this office is the equalization of the state education grand list.  The lower our state equalization ratio is, the higher the statewide education tax rate will be.  The equalization ratio, also known as the Common Level of Assessment or CLA is also a measure used by the State to determine if a town wide reappraisal is required.  Under state statutes, if any municipality's education grand list is at a common level of appraisal below 80% a reappraisal shall be conducted.           

There are two local tax stabilization programs available to Essex property owners.  To qualify for the Farm Program, the property owner or tenant must have 50% of their income from farming.  To qualify for the Open Land program, an owner must have 50 acres of undeveloped land. The deadline for filing new applications is July 1st.  The state also has the Current Use Program for eligible landowners. There is a program for agricultural land, farm buildings, forest land and conservation land.  The application deadline is September 1st.  Applications and information for the above stabilization programs can be obtained from this office. 

Email: rviens@essex.org
Phone: (802) 878-1345
Fax: (802) 878-1353
Address: Town of Essex Assessors Office
  81 Main Street
  Essex Jct, Vt  05452

 

This is the official site of the Town of Essex, Vermont