Spears v. Town of Enosburg

In Spears v. Town of Enosburg, 153 Vt. 259, 571 A.2d 604 (1989), the taxpayer had obtained a rollback remedy for one tax year because the BCA failed to comply with 32 V.S.A. 4404(c) and sought the same remedy for future years, essentially the relief sought by taxpayers here but in a nonreappraisal case. The Court found the statute provided for only a one year rollback. In response to the argument that one-year rollback was an ineffective remedy, the Court responded that plaintiffs could not obtain a better remedy, but not because of the limited duration of the rollback; instead it was because of their own inaction in the following years: "In fact, the reappraisal became operative because of plaintiffs' inaction. The burden is on the taxpayer to challenge an unfavorable assessment in each tax year. 32 V.S.A. 4404(a) states that a taxpayer must appeal by May 20th of the tax year for which the appeal is being taken. Plaintiffs failed to do so, in any of the three years at issue. The Town had no reason to reappraise the property and notify the taxpayers during the pendency of the appeal, since the listing was valid presumptively until the court decided otherwise. See Adams v. Town of West Haven, 147 Vt. 618, 619, 523 A.2d 1244, 1245 (1987). Absent a timely challenge by the taxpayers, the appraisal of $ 137,700 for the tax years 1984, 1985, and 1986 must stand." (153 Vt. at 262, 571 A.2d at 606.)