Waaaah!

Is somebody taking their bat and glove home from the game?

What, the rules changed and suddenly we don't want to play any more? Tsk, tsk.

Everything was peachy and keen when certain people made up the rules, but just as soon as the going gets tough...well you know the rest.

Check this out. Taxpayers just got a check in their 'win' column when it comes to property taxes. The bad boy of the Assessing Standards Board seems to have finally caught on to what happens when taxpayers catch on - you get kicked to the curb.

Avitar Associates of New England, Inc.
A Municipal Services Company
Betsy Patten, Chair Assessing Standards Board
c/o NH Dept of Revenue Admin
Attn: Dawn Calley P.O. Box 457
Concord, NH 03302
Re: Resignation

Dear Betsy:
March 31, 2006 I am writing as I have officially submitted my resignation to Tom Holmes, President of the NHAAO, as they are the parties responsible for my nomination.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working as a member of the ASB until recently. It appears the original focus of the Board is lost. Previously, the Board ran like a well-oiled machine, yet lately that is not the case. I believe this is due to the recent amount of media attention focused on assessing issues, ie: "The View Tax". The ASB is now merely a public/DRA/political forum.
I was astounded at the last meeting, when DRA members, not on the ASB were the driving force behind the decision-making. On several occasions, you specifically asked Scott Dickman whether something should remain or not. There was not enough Board discussion or voting. I believe I am not alone in the concerns I have mentioned.

My prior two terms were excellent and knowing and working with you was a pleasure. I believe an ASB meeting is not the proper forum for taxpayers to bring their specific abatement or appeals to. Taxpayers should be urged to follow the established processes in place, ie: abatement, appeal to BTLA or Superior Court. By lending an ear to taxpayer specific concerns, you have essentially changed the original intent of the Board, while only hearing one tainted side.

I have not notified the Governor or Governor's Council, as I did not have their support anyway.
Betsy, it has been a pleasure knowing and working with you, but our current push to adopt USPAP and the forum in which we are doing it is uncomfortable for me, particularly where it is directed at assessing companies.

Sincerely,

Gary J. Roberge, Sr. Appr., CNHA CEO
GJR/sjc
150 Suncook Valley Hwy
Chichester, NH 03258

Good riddance Mr. Roberge. Don't let the door...well you know the rest.

Since Gary Roberge, once the all powerful creator of assessing laws, is so fond of “letting it all hang out” about how the Assessing Standards Board has changed its purpose, maybe he can take some time to explain why his Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal software (well oiled machine) has so many flaws in it.

Here is my guess:

The DRA is desperate for some uniform software that can be used to asses all the property in NH. Gary Roberge seemed to be their savior when he came up with his Avitar system. The problem is that it has so many flaws it is unworkable without a constant effort to “re-engineer” it. That “re-engineering” comes at the expense of any town that was dependent on (and paid for) the Avitar system of mass reappraisal.

From sitting through Board of Tax and Land Appeals hearings and watching the way Roberge gets to walk away from bad assessments it occurred to me that he was receiving special treatment.

Then came the political heat from the “View Tax” and Gary is no longer beyond criticism. I remember writing an article not long ago hoping Gov. Lynch would reappoint Roberge to the Assessing Standards Board so Lynch could be tagged with the “View Tax.” Hmmmm.

I hope the efforts of The Coalition of NH Taxpayers in connecting the various selectmen and taxpayers all over this state affected by poor assessing, helped bring about this change. If it did it was well worth it, and just a start.