Created on Thursday, 12 July 2007 06:59
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 July 2007 08:49
Heavy rains this week washed out roads and caused damage to trees and property. Photo: Chris Stecher
By Lisa Loomis
Local select boards are finalizing tax rates this week, having received final figures from the Vermont Department of Property Valuation on state property tax rates and property tax adjustment credits.
While local tax rates are impacted by municipal spending, a town's statewide education property tax rate is based on several factors such as when the town was last appraised, its school spending and the number of students. The state uses a 'common level of appraisal (CLA) to adjust towns' appraised values relative to fair market value. When CLA's fall below 80 percent, towns are required to begin the process of reappraisal.
CLAs in Valley towns range from a low of 52.71 percent in Warren to a high of 117.18 in Waitsfield. That means, Warren's property is assessed at 52.71 percent of fair market value and Waitsfield is assessed at 117.18. Duxbury's CLA is 112.42, Fayston's is 88.12 and Moretown's is 94.52.
Statewide property tax is assessed on each town based on its CLA and is two tiered: residential/homestead and non-residential. In most towns, the residential rate is lower than the non-residential rate and that is the case throughout The Valley, except in Fayston where the non-residential rate is lower.
STATEWIDE TAX RANGES
Fayston's non-residential rate this year is $1.5434 and its residential rate is $1.5545. The municipal rate in Fayston is $0.225.
In Warren the residential rate is $2.3276 and the non-residential rate is $2.580. Warren has not yet set its municipal rate.
Moretown has not set its municipal tax rate yet either. Its non-residential rate is $1.438 and the residential rate is $1.429.
Waitsfield has set its municipal tax rate at $0.31. Its residential state property tax rate is $1.0789 and the non-residential rate is $1.116.
Duxbury's residential rate is $1.0838 and non-residential rate is $1.2097. The municipal tax rate in Duxbury this year is $0.334.
PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENTS
Last week, the Vermont Department of Taxation sent local town clerks checks that ranged from $566,000 to $237,000. The money replaces checks that used to be sent to taxpayers who qualified for property tax prebates under the income sensitivity provisions of Vermont's education funding program.
Adopted two years ago, but implemented this year for the first time, the program provides local towns with the money that would have been sent to individuals. Local clerks apply those funds to individual property owners' tax bills.
The credits applied to individual bills reflect income sensitivity funds as well as income tax refunds which some people may have applied to their property tax bills. These income based (and tax refund) payments range from an average of $902 in Duxbury to a high of $2,107 in Fayston.
In Waitsfield, the town received a total of $566,290 in 'adjustments,' which are to be applied to 316 properties for an average of $1,792 per parcel.
In Warren, the town received $559,449 for 289 properties for an average of $1,935 per parcel.
In Fayston, the town received $533,224 for 253 properties for an average of $2,107.
In Moretown, the town received $344,887 for 328 properties for an average of $1,051.
In Duxbury, the town received $237,204 for 263 properties for an average of $902.