Section 1: Appellate tax board; establishment; appointment; terms; compensation; removal; performance evaluations
Section 1. There shall be in the executive office of administration and finance, but not subject to its control in the conduct of its adjudicatory functions, an appellate tax board, in this chapter referred to as the board, consisting of five members, appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, who shall be appointed for six year terms from March first in the year of appointment. The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall designate one of the members as chairman of said board, in this chapter referred to as the chairman. Upon the expiration of the term of office of a member, his successor shall be appointed in the manner aforesaid for a term of six years. The chairman shall receive as compensation 75 per cent of the salary received by the chief justice of the trial court, and each other member of the board shall receive as compensation 75 per cent of the salary received by an associate justice of the trial court, as provided in section 4 of chapter 211B.
Members shall devote their full time during business hours to the duties of their offices. All members of the board shall devote their time during office hours to the work of the board. No member of the board, while a member, shall act as attorney, counselor or accountant in any contested matter before the department of revenue, before any board of assessors, before the courts of the commonwealth or the federal courts. Not more than three members of the board shall be members of the same political party.
A member may be removed by the council, upon request of the governor and upon notice and hearing, for neglect of duty, inability to perform duties, malfeasance in office, or for other good cause.
Members shall be subject to an annual written performance evaluation to be completed by the chairman. In addition to the standard criteria applicable to the evaluation of equivalent grade managers employed by the commonwealth, members shall also be evaluated upon: efficiency and fairness in the conduct of hearings; promptness in issuing decisions in single member and small claims cases; the ability to coordinate, oversee, draft and otherwise contribute to the expeditious issuance of written findings of fact and reports with the assistance of the legal department in cases assigned to the member; the total number of proceedings of comparable matters handled and orders and decisions issued in those matters; contributions to the management and reduction of the board's caseload; any written complaints or commendations received and verified; compliance with this chapter and other applicable chapters of the General Laws; and other information that may be relevant. The chairman shall take into consideration the complexity of cases in making his evaluation. Such performance evaluation may be used as evidence of a member's inability to perform his duties.
The chairman shall be subject to an annual written performance evaluation to be completed by the governor's chief legal counsel that includes evaluation of the management of the board's caseload, the ability to manage effectively the daily operations of the board and the personnel of the board, and the evaluation criteria applicable to members of the board, as appropriate. Such performance evaluation may be used by the governor as evidence of a chairman's inability to perform his duties.
The chairman, with the advice and consent of the governor's council, shall be authorized, subject to appropriation, to hire additional members on a full-time, temporary basis to hear such cases as may be heard by a single member as outlined in section 1A. For purposes of this section, temporary basis shall mean for a one year period and such period may be extended for an additional year by the chairman, if necessary. Any member of the board, hired on a temporary basis, shall devote his full time during business hours to the duties of the office. A temporary member of the board shall devote his whole time during office hours to the work of the board, and shall not act as attorney, counsellor or accountant in any contested matter before the department of revenue, before any board of assessors, before the courts of the commonwealth, or before the federal courts. Said member shall receive 90 per cent of the annual compensation of appointed members as outlined in section 1.
A vacancy in the board shall not impair its powers nor affect its duties. The board shall have a seal that shall be judicially noticed.