WATERFORD — A property owner whose appeal for tax relief was denied Thursday by the Oxford County Board of Assessment Review has asked for an immediate rehearing.

In a letter dated July 25 to Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole, John Howe, his wife, Deborah, and daughter, Virginia, whose property is in question, have requested a new hearing rather than avoid waiting until the new tax bill is issued and another appeal process begins next year.

In a 4-0 vote, Chairman Wade Rainey and members Robert Everett, William French and Fred Packard voted Thursday not to accept the application of Virginia C. Howe, of 197 McIntire Road, due to the untimely filing of the appeal. OXBAR member Sheila Delamater was not at the meeting.

Howe filed suit in Oxford Superior Court on April 23, asking for a reversal of the OXBAR’s denial in March of a request for a tax abatement. She claims her property has been devalued because of the ongoing “extreme” gunfire from the nearby Waterford Fish and Game Club.

Her application was turned down before testimony started, when it was determined the application was filed eight days past the state-mandated time limit for recourse.

John Howe said in his two-page letter to Cole that when he, his wife, Deborah, and their daughter, Virginia, arrived at the Oxford County Courthouse Thursday at 1 p.m. as scheduled, they were first “forced” to listen to two hours of another tax appeal hearing.


Howe said that once the appeal case was heard, Waterford Selectman Randy Lessard was immediately called upon and said the hearing should not be held because the Howes had missed their 60-day deadline from the date the denial notice was heard.

“To us, this entire bad experience is just an attempt by OXBAR and our town selectmen to avoid the ongoing, eight-year battle by Waterford residents to regain their property rights for peace and quiet and encourage the town selectmen to enforce the site plan review regarding the extensive expansion that took place at the Waterford Game gun ranges,” Howe said in the letter.

John Howe and his wife own property near the gun club, a portion which was sold to their daughter, and their appeal for tax relief due to the noise was approved while their daughter’s later appeal was denied.

Howe said in the letter that OXBAR is in a conflicting position, having ruled in June 2012 in favor of the appellants and having ruled in March 2014 in favor of the town. Howe claims the ruling from the third hearing that was to have been held Thursday would have forced OXBAR to take one side or the other, overruling itself in either case.

Cole could not be reached for comment Friday.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.