On July 25, 2018

New computer system causes tax bill glitch

By Katy Savage

Killington Town Clerk Lucrecia Wonsor was on the phone all day  Monday and Tuesday, a week ago, when hundreds of incorrect tax bills were sent to Killington homeowners.

“People were concerned because there were some that had been taxed at the non-residential rate even though they declared homestead,” she said.

Killington was one of about 75 towns that received incorrect tax bills. About 4,500 bills the state sent out July 1 contained an error in them. State Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom issued a notice last week, saying a new computer system had caused much of the problem.

The state’s computer system was updated three years ago. This was the second year of using the new system with homestead declarations.

“Overall the system is working great,” said Vermont Department of Taxes Deputy Commissioner Craig Bolio.

Most of the computer issue had to do with homestead declarations. Homestead property is taxed differently from nonresidential property. Nonresidential homes include those that are leased 182 days or more, homes that are used for commercial purposes and property that is a second home.

“It makes a big difference for some people,” said Wonsor.

Wonsor discovered the issue after Middlesex Town Clerk Sarah Merriman posted a notice in a forum shared between the town clerks.

“We immediately were able to put something on the website,” said Wonsor.

Other towns that were impacted in Windsor and Rutland County included Barnard, Cavendish, Grafton, Pittsfield, Pomfret, Hartland, West Rutland, Rockingham, Springfield and Weathersfield.

The Weathersfield town office also received many calls. Weathersfield Town Manager Ed Morris said he saw the issue coming.

“It will make some extra work for us,” he said.

Bolio said the corrected tax bills will be processed July 27. They will then be sent to area clerks and re-distributed.

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