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ACT SUMMARY 2007-2008


ACT NO. 39

(S. 77)

Motor vehicles; title; surviving spouse’s exemption from transfer fee; small claims court jurisdictional limit; property tax adjustment for certain transfers

This act specifies that if a decedent's estate consists of an automobile, the title will pass to the surviving spouse unless the decedent's will or some other legal instrument specifies otherwise. This provision does not apply to more than two vehicles and does not apply if the car is titled to one or more individuals in addition to the surviving spouse.

The act also increases the jurisdictional limit on small claims procedures from $3,500.00 to $5,000.00 and specifies that individuals bringing actions in small claims court may only claim money damages. In cases where plaintiffs claim more than $3,500.00, the act also gives defendants the option of having a law-trained judge assigned to the case. Finally, this provision of the act also makes small claims judgments good for eight years and allows prevailing parties to renew those judgments by filing a new action in small claims court before the judgment expires.

This act also directs the commissioner of taxes to pay 2007 property tax adjustments to homeowners who transfer their homes between March 31 and June 21, 2007. To be eligible for the rebate under this provision, a transferor must provide the commissioner with the information specified in the statute before the deadline of 4:30 P.M. on June 20, 2007.

Effective Date: Sec. 7 (property tax adjustments) takes effect on passage and applies to property transfers after March 31 and before June 21, 2007. all other sections take effect July 1, 2007.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont