Tuftonboro selectmen assess appraisal penalty fee
October 21, 2010
TUFTONBORO — At their Oct. 12 meeting Tuftonboro's Board of Selectmen decided unanimously to assess a $2,400 penalty fee on Cross County Appraisals, LLC for its failure to get the final report on the partial update to the board in a timely manner.
The board was displeased that a public hearing was held before everyone received their letters and before the selectmen had sufficient time to study the results of the assessment.
The required municipal services form (MS-1) is now in the hands of the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA), but board members have lingering doubts about the quality of the work done by the appraisal firm.
Selectman Bill Stockman, for one, wondered if the 220 sale properties were actually physically examined. He said he was not happy with the appraisers' statement that properties were viewed by car. Chairman Carolyn Sundquist read a section of the contract that promised full field reviews and appointments when an owner was not at home.
Chuck Reese, who monitors revaluations and updates for the DRA to assure that they meet proper assessing standards and guidelines, said that his preliminary review in July showed that the CCA had found and corrected mistakes to a large extent, but noted that inspection dates and times were not entered on the cards.
Sundquist explained that the board was displeased that it was not informed in a timely manner and that they found it confusing that the values went up and then down twice.
Reese commented that ideally, the company sends out letters to owners prior to the visit and usually gives feedback to waterfront folks in the summer when they are still in residence.
"It didn't leave me a very good sense of comfort," said Stockman, to find out that they didn't actually walk the properties.
The selectmen decided that they would do a little research and make phone calls to survey a sampling of residents whose places were revaluated.
Resident Joe Kowalski asked how the MS-1 report would affect "the donor town tax." Sundquist and Stockman said that the school taxes would be based on the MS-1 and equalized throughout the state.
The board approved a new permit fee schedule presented by codes officer Jack Parsons. The new rates are available on line and at the town offices and will be effective Nov. 1.
Sundquist called attention to the regular roadside cleanup performed by Terry and Lee White along Route 109, commenting, "It's kind of sad that they need to do that so often, but I want to say thank you."
Stockman will soon be harrowing the community garden in preparation for planting a cover crop of winter rye.
Duffy said that Tuftonboro will be hosting the next meeting of the three-town milfoil committee and noted that the town has $50,000 worth of new Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting equipment at its disposal for its initial $5,000 investment.
Stockman noted that four property sales last week were above their assessed value, and commented that overall, "transfers are still healthy."
The board will meet for its next regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the town offices.
Meetings of other boards and committees are posted online on the town Web site, www.tuftonboro.or