Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Repeat of 2015 by Joe Hill

Five years ago Lisbon Council decided to revalue Lisbon's commercial and residential property. A contract was awarded to William Van Tuinen Tax Assessment Services.  This revaluation was to be done over the four year period ending in 2015 at a cost of $400,000 dollars.

In the spring of 2015 we were told that revaluation letters would be sent in May (2015) giving us time to dispute any potential problems with the assessors findings before the 2015 tax season.  These letters were never sent.

We were then told that the new valuation letters were only delayed a few weeks and would be sent in June of the same year. These letters were never sent.

In July/August of 2015 we were finally informed that the revaluation was not even close to being finished. We had been told lies.  ( I  think the L word is appropriate here considering what happened)

Late summer (2015) Mr. Van Tuinen and Lisbon Council with the help of legal advise  agreed to extend the revaluation completion date for another year. They also included a daily fine for each day that the contract wasn't finished past the new completion date.

Early 2016 we were told we would get our new valuation letters by the end of February (2016).  Yesterday was the last day of February and no letters were send and no new date is known for sending out letters.

Let me make one thing clear.  This delay isn't the fault of our tax department and the original contract was signed by a previous Town Council and  town Manager. The problem is Mr. Van Tuinen and his staff.

Given the history of this revaluation one would think every effort would be made to keep deadlines but this hasn't been the case. I see a repeat of 2015 in the making ending in disaster.

Contract completion fines are only good if there is money available to collect.  What guarantee do we have that we haven't wasted $400,000 dollars of Lisbon's money?

I think this problem should be at the top of our Council/Manager's agenda and we should be kept apprised of the ACTUAL progress of this revaluation.

Joe Hill

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