WALLINGFORD — The Select Board voted Monday to hire an attorney and waive the taxes on a certain property straddling its disputed border with Tinmouth.
After coming out of an executive session, the board voted unanimously to approve a motion made by Selectwoman Rose Regula that contained several components.
“What we’ve decided is to hire attorney Charles Merriman and then authorize him to send a letter to (Attorney William Meub) waiving taxes for the town of Wallingford for the Taylor property until this matter is settled with the town of Tinmouth,” Regula said. “Then we authorize (Wallingford Assessor Lisa Wright) to remove the Taylor property from the grand list. Then authorize the attorney to work with (former town clerk Joyce Barbieri) on this matter.”
The Stan Taylor property is on West Hill Road. The border between Wallingford and Tinmouth runs through it, along with several other properties that are undeveloped. For years, there’s been some uncertainty with regard to where exactly the town line is. In 2017, Wallingford and Tinmouth reached an agreement that put the main house and some other structures in Tinmouth. This held until March of this year when the Select Board, at the suggestion of Barbieri, who had researched the matter, added the house and other buildings back to the Wallingford grand list.
The property is 373 acres. Taken altogether in Wallingford its assessed value is $1,325,000, while Tinmouth has the house assessed for $500,000.
Officials in both towns met a few times over the course of the spring and summer in an effort to resolve the matter, but no agreement was reached, resulting in the Taylor property being double-taxed. The Taylors hired attorney William Meub, of Meub Gallivan & Larson, Attorneys PLC in Rutland City, who sent both towns a letter saying if the matter wasn’t resolved soon, both towns would be taken to court.
Meub said he spoke with Merriman and officials in Tinmouth on Tuesday and has been told they’ll work towards a resolution. Meub said he expects an agreement would be reached prior to any tax bills coming due. His clients want a clear resolution as to how they’re to be taxed, and how they’ll be taxed going forward.
He said no filings regarding this matter have been made in court.
In a past interview, Meub said this sort of situation is rare, but something similar happened in 1969 between a property owner and the towns of Danville and Cabot.
Tinmouth Town Clerk and Treasurer Gail Fallar said in an interview Tuesday that the Tinmouth Select Board has this matter on its agenda for its next regular meeting on Thursday. She said the town hasn’t hired an attorney, but that will likely be discussed by the board.
“We would like to resolve it without having to hire an attorney,” Fallar said, adding that Tinmouth remains willing to discuss a resolution with Wallingford.
Several officials in both towns have expressed a desire to simply hire a surveyor to settle where the town line is between them. Meub said in a past interview that solution would also work for his client.