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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.584

Introduced by   Representatives Sharpe of Bristol, Botzow of Pownal, Browning of Arlington, Cheney of Norwich, Condon of Colchester, Courcelle of Rutland City, Deen of Westminster, Fisher of Lincoln, Grad of Moretown, Marek of Newfane, Masland of Thetford, Otterman of Topsham and Winters of Williamstown

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Taxation; education property tax; property tax adjustment; confidentiality

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to maintain confidentiality of the property tax adjustment amount.

AN ACT RELATING TO PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENT CONFIDENTIALITY

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  32 V.S.A. § 3102(b)(3) and (h) are amended to read:

(3) "Return information" includes a person's name, address, date of birth, social security Social Security or federal identification number, or any other identifying number; information as to whether or not a return was filed or required to be filed; the nature, source, or amount of a person's income, payments, receipts, deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liabilities, tax payments, deficiencies or over-assessments; and any other data, from any source, furnished to or prepared or collected by the department of taxes with respect to any person.  "Return information" also includes a property tax adjustment amount determined under chapter 154 of this title.

(h)  If any provision of Vermont law authorizes or requires the commissioner to divulge or make known in any manner any return or return information, the person or persons receiving such return or return information (other than information disclosed under subsection (i) of this section) shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section as if such person were the agent of the commissioner.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to restrict the disclosure of a return or return information by the person to whom it relates.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to restrict the disclosure of a property tax adjustment amount determined under chapter 154 of this title by the commissioner to a municipal official, or by a municipal official to the taxpayer to whom it is credited or to that taxpayer's authorized agent.


Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 6066a is amended to read:

§ 6066a.  DETERMINATION OF PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENTS

(a)  Annually, the commissioner shall determine the property tax adjustment amount under section 6066 of this title, related to a homestead owned by the claimant.  The commissioner shall notify the municipality in which the housesite is located of the amount of the property tax adjustment for the claimant for homestead property tax liabilities, on July 1 for timely-filed claims and on September 15 for late claims filed by September 1.  The tax adjustment of a claimant who was assessed property tax by a town which revised the dates of its fiscal year, however, is the excess of the property tax which was assessed in the last 12 months of the revised fiscal year, over the adjusted property tax of the claimant for the revised fiscal year as determined under section 6066 of this title, related to a homestead owned by the claimant.

(b)  The commissioner shall include in the total property tax adjustment amount determined under subsection (a) of this section, for credit to the taxpayer for homestead property tax liabilities, any income tax overpayment remaining after allocation under section 3112 of this title and setoff under section 5934 of this title, which the taxpayer has directed to be used for payment of property taxes.

(c)   The commissioner shall notify the municipality of any claim and refund amounts unresolved by September 15 at the time of final resolution, including adjudication if any.

(d)  For late claims, filed after April 15, the property tax adjustment amount shall be reduced by $15.00, which shall be paid by the commissioner to the municipality for the cost of issuing a new property tax bill to the claimant.

(e)  At the time of notice to the municipality, the commissioner shall notify the taxpayer of the property tax adjustment amount determined under subdivision 6066(a)(1) of this title; the amount determined under subdivision 6066(a)(3) of this title; any additional adjustment amounts due the homestead owner under section 6066 of this title; the amount of income tax refund, if any, allocated to payment of homestead property tax liabilities; and any late-claim reduction amount.

(f)  Property tax bills.

(1)  The property tax adjustment amount is confidential return information under section 3102 of this title which shall be disclosed by the commissioner only in accord with section 3102 or this chapter, and shall be disclosed by a municipality only to the taxpayer to whose property tax liability it is credited or to that taxpayer's authorized agent.  Municipal records of property tax payments available to the public shall not include property tax adjustment information.  For amounts stated in the notice to towns on July 1, municipalities shall not include on the homestead property tax bill notice to the taxpayer of the total amount allocated to payment of homestead property tax liabilities and notice of the balance due; but shall notify the taxpayer of the total amount allocated to payment of homestead property tax liabilities and notice of the balance due.  Mailing of the notice of the allocation of the property tax adjustment and the balance due to the taxpayer at the address of the homestead property shall not constitute a breach of confidentiality of this information under this section or section 3102 of this chapter.  By a majority of those voting at an annual or special meeting called for that purpose, the voters of a municipality may elect to apply the amount allocated under this chapter to current-year property taxes to the taxpayers’ property tax installments in order or pro rata.

(2)  For property tax adjustment amounts for which municipalities receive notice on or after September 15, municipalities shall issue a new homestead property tax bill with notice to the taxpayer of the total amount allocated to payment of homestead property tax liabilities and notice of the balance due.

(3)  The property tax adjustment amount determined for the taxpayer shall be allocated first to current-year property tax on the homestead parcel, next to current-year homestead parcel penalties and interest, next to any prior year homestead parcel penalties and interest, and last to any prior year property tax on the homestead parcel.  No adjustment shall be allocated to a property tax liability for any year after the year for which the claim or refund allocation was filed.  If the property tax adjustment amount exceeds the amount allocated under this subsection, the municipality shall refund the excess to the taxpayer, without interest, within 20 days of the first date upon which taxes become due and payable or 20 days after notification by the commissioner of education, whichever is later.  No municipal tax-reduction incentive for early payment of taxes shall apply to any amount allocated to the property tax bill under this chapter.

(g)  Annually, on August 1 and on September 15, the commissioner of taxes shall pay to each municipality the amount of property tax adjustment of which the municipality was notified on July 1 for the August 1 transfer, or September 15 for the September 15 transfer, related to municipal property tax on homesteads within that municipality, as determined by the commissioner of taxes.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATES

This act shall apply to property tax adjustment claims filed in 2008 and after.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us