Jul 222022

Brookfield, VT – Lister Minutes

2022 Grievance Hearings



9:00  J. Parker – Concerns: Value of house on west side of Rt.14 next to the church. Unhappy with figures because interior not seen yet. Only the garage is sound.

Results: Interior inspection; adjusted “church” to be “dry-storage outbuilding”; adjusted depreciation.

11:00 A. Hermsen (Kauffman) – Concerns:  What’s the functional depreciation for porch extent? Water drains down outside of chimney. The neighbors in Williamstown have rough buildings and lifestyle – adjust the neighborhood grade?

Results: Market values are changing. Explained that if the water from the chimney isn’t entering the house, it’s not something we can deduct for. Explained neighborhood rate.

12:00 M. Garbitelli (represented by Neal Ferenc, Esq.) – Main house – Concerns:  Appraisal does not reflect the true market value.

Results: Referred to Marshall & Swift 2019 tables, explaining how they work. Reduced quality for simplicity of construction.

12:20 M. Garbitelli (rep. Neal Ferenc, Esq.) – 1506 West St – Concerns:  Mistake on prior cost sheet regarding renovation status.

Results: Removed mobile home site-improvements. Noted 88% complete. Listers will visit the site.

3:00 G. Matthews – Concerns:  Questioning valuation. Taxes.

Results: Explained how the tax is computed. Explained that valuation is based on Marshall & Swift 2019 tables. Increased physical depreciation, increased condition, removed one (of 2) rough-ins. (see example at bottom of minutes)

4:40 J. Mattote – Concerns:  Cost of materials & labor unrealistic. Tax rate.

Results: Addressed costs of rebuilding. Explained how setting the tax rate works. Adjusted subfloor from wood to concrete slab.

6:00 J. Poulin – Bear Hill camp – Concerns:  The well cannot be accessed – no pump, no electricity. Cabin is in Current Use.

Results: Lowered value of camp, and of water.

6:20 J. Poulin – West St. – Concerns:  What’s the $ 5100 listed twice on the Cost Sheet? Please remove the 336 sq ft. outbuilding. Window & siding replacements – revisit condition & quality.

Results: Answered the $ 5100 question. Removed the 336 sq ft. outbuilding. Adjusted the % good for outbuildings.

6:40 A. Ferguson – Concerns:  Comparable valuation by Northfield Savings Bank was  $ 310,000, which was much lower than the Brookfield appraisal.

Results: Explained why bank evaluations are often different from town valuations. Decreased quality to 4.5, to match more closely the square footage and the age of the building. Changed “carport” to “porch #4”.  Increased depreciation from 14%. Decreased condition to “average”.



3:00 W. Clodgo – Concerns:  Square footage on 2nd floor is incorrect. Roof shingles are broken; the whole block needs replacing. Basement sill is rotting.

Results: Adjusted 2nd floor square feet. Removed finished basement. Adjusted quality back to 3.0

3:20 R. Rilling – Concerns:  Please explain the Cost Sheet.

Results: No action. Explained the Cost Sheet.

3:40 D. Leonard – Concerns:  Baths are 1.5. Shed split into 2. Porch & deck are all one, and rotting. Furnace is not used; using pellet stoves instead.

Results: Adjust porches, heat and landscape.

4:00 L. Kelly – Concerns:  Land value different from bank appraisal 2019.

Results:  Addressed bank appraisal issue. Adjusted site grade and quality grade.

4:20 J. Stewart – Concerns:  7 rooms should be 6. Values for septic and pond.

Results: Changed room count to 6. Explained landscaping (septic, pond, water). Changed quality grade back to 3.5.

4:40 D. Doda – Concerns:  House is built on a concrete slab. It’s a one-bedroom (with closet) house. There are 2 baths. The “garage” structure on the farm is actually a “barn”. Are all farm buildings in Current Use?

Results: Changed the sub-floor to concrete pad. Added 3% functional depreciation to house because of only one bedroom. Changed the farm structure from a garage to a barn. Yes, all farm buildings are in Current Use.

5:00 J. Mayotte – Concerns – The furnace isn’t working. Pellet stove and wood stove are used instead. Moisture in basement. The sills on one side are spongy. The roof needs replacing. There is no bath on 2nd floor. Shed building.

Results: Removed central heat value. Removed bath from 2nd floor. Condition is the argument. Increased physical depreciation to 40%.

5:20 P. Hatch – Concerns:  Explanation needed. Concerned about taxes.

Results: Reviewed Cost Sheet. Removed one equipment shed <100 sf. Adjusted energy to Average. Explained that when the grand list goes up, taxes will lower or stay the same as last year. (see bottom of minutes)

5:40 H. McCall – main house – Concerns:  There are only 3 bedrooms; the total rooms should be set back to 7. Neighbor’s house is run-down.

Results: Adjusted room counts.

6:00 Real Cap (H. McCall) – Concerns:  There are 3 bedrooms, not 4.

Results: Changed number of bedrooms. Added square footage for 2nd floor overhang above porch, and for a dormer larger than what was stated (increased living area by 57 sq ft total). Updated exterior wall. Added depreciation.

6:20 J. Zebora – Concerns:  Property is both field and woods. Property improvements needed. Septic is okay. Received quote of $ 2560 to replace water.

Results: Adjusted quality to entire house. Changed the attached garage to a shed. Added depreciation.

6:40 K. Sikora – Concerns: Adjust for ponds because one is State-owned? House has 4.5 baths. The front porch is off; roof is still there. Entire house could be “average/fair”. Square footage of basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor needs adjusting. Porch #2 square footage is overstated.

Results: Researched ponds, and adjusted. Adjusted bath and fixture counts. Adjusted drawing of basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, and changed square footage everywhere needed. Adjusted functional depreciation to average/fair. Removed porch #1’s floor; adjusted porch #2. “Super adequacy” value decreases with square footage decrease. House is oversize to quality grade.

7:00 R. Brownstein – Concerns:  Sheds to left should be taken off? Barn. Roof drainage problem on pond side of house.

Results: Adjusted living area, depreciation and fixture count. Adjusted finish on 1st floor. Attached garage.

Email from L. Smith-Frailey – Concerns:  Landlocked, very small parcel.

Results: Site grade lowered due to limited access.


Respectfully submitted,

Teresa Godfrey, Brookfield Lister

Phyllis Humez, Brookfield Lister

Sean Boyce, Site Appraiser (from VT Appraisal Co.)

Ted Nelson, Appraiser, VT Appraisal Co.



Example of How Taxes Could Stay the Same or Go Down, When the Grand List Goes Up


Pretend:        100,000        Amount we voted on at Town Meeting for the Budget this year.

500,000        Total value of properties in Brookfield.


100,000 / 500,000 =  0.20 tax rate


Town-Wide Reappraisal happens. The new total value of properties goes up 200,000.


100,000        Amount we voted for the Budget this year.

700,000        New total value of properties in Brookfield.


100,000 / 700,000 =  NEW  0.14 tax rate