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Restrictive farm land taxes unpaid by farmer who has an easement on our property.

Vermont

We own 10.2 acres of property which a farmer adjacet to our property has a 7 acre easement to farm. We are not in "current use", so our tax rate on those 7 acres were legally supposed to be assigned to the farmer, not us. We purchased the property in 2010 and those taxes were included in OUR property tax bill. We were unfamiliar to this fact until it was brought to our attention. The farmer is now ready to sell his property. We went to the town to inquire as to why these taxes were not assigned to the farmer and not us, and they admitted to their oversight and are unwilling to take any responsibility. The town clerk asked why we didn't catch this oversight sooner. We said because we were unfamiliar with how it works for not in current use homeowners. The town will not take responsibility for returning the tax money to us in the amount of approximately $3,373.97 that we have paid over the 10 year period that we have owned this property. I sent a certified letter to the property owner two weeks ago and have not recieved a response from him. He is due to close on the sale of his property very soon.

1 reply

Aug 5, 2019
I'm sorry to hear about that - it sounds like an incredibly frustrating situation. However, this is a bit outside of our expertise here at the Expert Center - where our focus is construction law and construction payment issues. So, I'm not sure how much help I can be.

With that being said, it's worth noting that demand letters sent via attorney tend to carry a little more "umph". Plus, when a property is set to close sooner than later, owners tend to be a lot more sensitive to potential legal actions that may relate to their property. Further, for disputes over $5,000 or less, Vermont small claims court might be an option - in small claims court, disputes can be officially resolved in front of a judge without much of the cost and expense of traditional litigation.
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