To: Norwich Selectboard
From: David Bucci
RE: tax penalty
October 30, 2012
Dear Members of the Norwich Selectboard,
I am writing to request relief from a penalty recently imposed on our tax bill. This penalty was
imposed because of a late Homestead Declaration filing. However, given the circumstances
described below, I feel that the penalty is unfair and I respectfully request your reconsideration.
History of the present situation:
We previously owned a home in Norwich (on Church St, 2008-2010) and filed our Homestead
Declarations as required until the laws changed indicating that it was no longer necessary to file
declarations. Thus, when we purchased land on Turnpike Road in January 2011, we did not file
a declaration. Similarly, after construction was completed and we moved into our new home in
fall of 2011, we did not file a declaration. Please note, however, we did change our legal
address (with the state, town, school etc) immediately as required by state law. When we
received our tax bill in late spring of 2012, I was surprised that there was a flier indicating that
homestead declarations needed to be filed again. I called our real estate attorney, Dan
Grossman, to find out if we should file a declaration for current home and he indicated that we
should, even though it was after the April deadline. We could have easily ignored that advice
and lied and said we didn’t live in the house in April 2012 and thus saved about $2,000 in taxes
by being considered non-residents as indicated in our original tax bill. However, we chose to do
the honest thing and send in our homestead declaration as we believe it is our responsibility to
pay our fair share of the town taxes. I therefore find it very frustrating that in return for being
honest, we are getting penalized to the tune of $750 as indicated in the revised tax bill we
received this month. This is an extreme hardship for us right now, as we are still recovering
from the cost of the home construction.
I understand that the penalty is there to deter/punish fraud and that everyone should abide by
the April Declaration deadline. However, given that the law has changed several times in the
past few years, making things very unclear, it was confusing as to whether or not a declaration
was necessary. Under the present circumstances, I respectfully request a reprieve from this
penalty. If you are unable to do so, kindly let me know the process through which we should
pursue this further with the town, state, or judicial system.
829 Turnpike Rd.