Middlebury, Lodge settle property appraisal dispute
MIDDLBURY — The Middlebury selectboard and the Lodge at Otter Creek have settled a property assessment dispute relating to the retirement community’s land and buildings off Lodge Road.
The selectboard on Tuesday unanimously agreed to accept a settlement offer from the Lodge that its property be assessed by the town at $17 million, according to Middlebury Assistant Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay.
That compromise figure represents a substantial shift for both the Lodge and the town. The town’s original assessment of the property was $19,950,000, according to Ramsay, while the Lodge presented an appraisal of $11,276,900. At the town’s appraisal, the Lodge generated $487,677 in property taxes during fiscal year 2012, according to Ramsay, while the Lodge’s appraisal would have generated $275,600. The resulting difference of $212,077 in property tax revenues would have amounted to around 3 cents on the municipal tax rate.
The Lodge paid the 2012 taxes and the settlement applies to fiscal year 2013 taxes.
The Lodge at Otter Creek features a combination of cottages, independent living, assisted living, memory-loss units and related amenities on 36.2 acres. The development includes 100 units in a main, four-story building and 40 completed cottages. The Lodge is permitted for an additional 40 cottages.
Lodge officials took their case to Addison County Superior Court after failing to strike a compromise with the Middlebury Board of Civil Authority. But the town and Lodge continued to talk, and struck an accord with a $17 million valuation. It is a valuation that will generate $72,112 less in property taxes during fiscal year 2013 than it would have under the town’s original $19,950,000 appraisal, Ramsay noted.
“It is something we will have to address as we monitor the performance of the budget,” Ramsay said of the $72,112 gap, which could be negated through cost savings or unanticipated revenues. Spending under the fiscal year 2013 budget began on July 1 and ends on June 30, 2013.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].
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