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Delinquent Tax Collector

Merton Snow – (802) 442-4526 (1 year term exp. in 2020)

The collector of delinquent taxes plays a vital role in ensuring that property taxes owed to the town are paid by all taxpayers. It is the duty of the collector of delinquent taxes to notify taxpayers when their taxes are overdue, to make arrangements for late payments, or to take formal collection actions, including conducting tax sales of the property when necessary. Finally, it is the obligation of the collector of delinquent taxes to keep records of all delinquent accounts, and to provide an accounting of these records to the locally elected auditors for inclusion in the annual report of the town.

The municipality may vote to elect a collector of delinquent taxes for a one-year term or vote to have its town manager collect its delinquent taxes. If the town does not indicate how it wishes to have its taxes collected, the first constable automatically becomes the collector of current and delinquent taxes. If the town has indicated that it wants its taxes collected by a tax collector but fails to elect one, or if there is a vacancy in the office, the selectboard may appoint or hire a collector of delinquent taxes.

A collector of delinquent taxes may not also be an auditor or a member of the selectboard or school board. Neither shall the spouse of or any person assisting the collector of delinquent taxes serve as an auditor.

Most collectors of delinquent taxes in Vermont get paid by keeping the eight-percent fee that is collected on delinquent accounts. Note that collection of the eight-percent penalty is not mandatory, but is at the discretion of the collector of delinquent taxes. In Shaftsbury, the Town assesses an additional one-percent delinquent tax fee payable to the Town.

The collector must contact delinquent taxpayers to arrange for the Payment of delinquent taxes plus penalties and interest. The Collector should try to work out a payment schedule. He or she must keep accounts of every delinquent taxpayer, and the amounts of principal, interest and penalties owed, and payments made.

When necessary for the collection of taxes, the collector of delinquent taxes must conduct tax sales of property, bring an action at law, or use other methods for collecting delinquent taxes for the town.

When the collector of delinquent taxes resigns or the term expires, he or she must immediately lodge with the treasurer the tax bill committed to him or her which remains uncollected (in whole or in part) along with any money collected.

The State Commissioner of Taxes may contract with a local tax collector to collect delinquent property taxes assessed on households.