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The Town of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
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Selectmen's Meeting Minutes 03/01/07
March 1, 2007



Mr. Parker explained the assessment projects that took place in 2005 and the complete reassessment for the tax year 2001. While working on abatements last year, the board discovered a problem with the way the view adjustment was applied, both in capturing all the houses that have a view and what that view is and a description of each factor. They removed it from properties that had it.

The board has received an order from the BTLA to do a sales analysis and reinstate the view adjustment. They also want the land adjusted. Although the BTLA did not reference it, we have some neighborhoods that need to be adjusted.

What the board is looking for is a price to correct these problems. We need to get this information in place for town meeting, which is in 2 weeks. The selectmen have started looking at the view issue – they went out to all the properties that Vision had identified as having a view adjustment and took photos of each.  This was to try to figure out what the criteria was for the four factors. The selectmen plan to drive every street and mark all those properties that have a view that adds value. Then they will hire an assessor to go out and look at everyone to establish value.

Mr. Earles asked if Vision is currently doing the 1/3 for this year. Mr. Parker said Vision is doing this work – the board has a three year contract – and the last third, the southern part of town – will be done this year. Vision plans to start as soon as possible. Mr. Marazoff said that the third is an issue because they need that to do the sales update. They could do a statistical analysis but would need the last 1/3 fresh data in order to complete this work. Carmen said that there are very few sales in the area that they will be looking at in the 1/3 this year. Dave said that all the properties need to be visited under this issue. Carmen said the BTLA is ordering the town to do a market analysis – not a complete measure and list – since we will have completed going around the town this year.

Mr. Earles said that what you are looking at is a total review of parcels, analyzing sales, setting values, holding hearings and defense of values.

Mr. Parker said we could appeal the ruling but probably won’t because we recognize that there are problems. Mr. Parker said that land sales are all over the ballpark. Some of these properties are building lots, non-buildable or sub dividable.

Mr. Methe said that what we’d like two proposals – one on doing the last 1/3 plus the sales update and the other to do only the sales update. Mr. Parker said we are also interested in knowing what the cost would be for them to complete the 1/3, complete the view, complete the neighborhoods. We might want to consider asking the BTLA for an extension. Mr. Earles said that he doesn’t think that would be necessary. Mr. Methe said that the selectmen would have the lots identified with a view adjustment within two to three weeks.

Mr. Marazoff said that it the BTLA has recently defined what is required for documentation – they want it to be transparent. He gathers that means it is easily read and understood – more narrative – more like a field appraisal report. Mr. Methe said Laurel Lake is a tough area as there are small unbuildable lots, big lots and back land. Mr. Parker said that the assessments for the antique homes seem correct but the different factors are not well defined.  

Mr. Earles asked if Vision has done callbacks on the 2/3rds that they did. This may not have been done so they would need to do that. It would be hard for them to “grade” the property without getting into the property – especially the antique properties.

Mr. Parker said we could give them whatever they need. Carmen asked if they have any comments.

Mr. Parker said that the board wants to go with the appraisal firm that can do the best job – not the lowest price. The job needs to be done correctly and the board is looking at a number of firms.

Mr. Parker left the meeting at 11:35am.


Mr. Methe and Mr. Yon discussed Mr. Parker’s abatement request. They noted that there was a very small piece of land not in current use on the lot. Apparently when the subdivision was drawn up, the engineer drew the line for one of the lots through the land not in current use. Mr. Parker is stating that since the amount of land not in current use is too small to put a building on, it should be assessed as unbuildable. Mr. Yon made a motion to grant the abatement, Mr. Methe seconded and the motion passed 2-0. The amount of the abatement will be the difference between what the assessment would have been if all the land were in current use and the assessment that the 2006 taxes were based on.

13 Templeton Turnpike, PO Box 725 Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
Phone: 603.585.7723   Fax: 603.585.7744
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