Assessment of Current Taxes
Each year, the Board of Listers establishes a Grand List of all property values in the Town, as of each April 1. This List is used to determine the taxes that are assessed for each fiscal year. After the Town and School budgets are passed at the Annual Town and School District meetings, and the State determines the amount of tax dollars to be collected for education expenses, the Board of Selectboard set the tax rate. The tax rate is broken down into five categories - town general appropriations, town special appropriations, county assessment, statewide education assessment, and local education assessment. Rates are per $100 of property valuation. Rates for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 (total tax rate $2.4649/$100 Homestead Tax Rate and $2.4454/$100 Non-Residential Tax Rate), are as follows:
- Town general appropriations - $.9216
- Town special appropriations - $.0146
- County assessment - $.0082
- Local Agreement Rate - $.0020
- Education Homestead Tax Rate - $1.5185
- Education Non-Residental Tax Rate - $1.4990
Collection of Current Taxes
Taxes are billed based on the Town's fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. Taxes are payable in two equal installments. The first installment, which covers the period from July 1 to December 31, is billed in early July, and is due in August (August 14 this year). The second installment, which covers the period from January 1 to June 30, is also billed in July and is due on February 3, 2017 for this fiscal year. Each installment must be paid on or before the due date in order to avoid the assessment of interest and penalties. Payments that are sent by mail are considered to be timely paid so long as the envelope is postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service by the due date.
Taxes that are unpaid after the August installment is due are subject to interest at the rate of 1% for each month or part of a month that they are late. Taxes that are unpaid after the February installment is due are considered to be delinquent, and are subject to a delinquent tax penalty of 2%, plus interest at the rate of 1% for each month or part of a month that they are delinquent, for the first three months, and at the rate of 1 ½% for each month or part of a month that they are delinquent thereafter. Further, an additional penalty of 2% is assessed on unpaid taxes after March 3, 2017. These rates fall within State statutes and apply even if the taxes are only one day late. The Finance Department has no authority to waive or abate the interest and penalty charges.
The State of Vermont taxes property under two different rates, the homestead rate and the nonresidential rate. If you own a Vermont property and occupy it as your principal residence on April 1, 2016, you pay the homestead education property tax rate. Property owners must have a homestead declaration on file with the Department of Taxes to be classified as a homestead and pay the homestead rate. Please be advised that is a late filing penalty will be assessed on the education taxes on those properties that file the Homestead Declaration late after the October 15 final deadline.
PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENT CLAIM
Homestead owners may be eligible for a Property Tax Adjustment based on their house site value and income. The property tax adjustment is a credit applied against your property tax bill. The credit is reflected on your 2016/2017 property tax bill as a state payment. Property Tax Adjustment Claims are made to the Department of Taxes by filing Form HS-145. To file for a Property Tax Adjustment Claim, you must (1) be a VT resident all of calendar year 2015; (2) not be claimed as a dependent in tax year 2015; (3) have owned and occupied the property as your principal residence on April 1, 2015; and (4) have the property declared as homestead on the 2015 grand list. You may be eligible for a property tax adjustment even if you do not have a requirement to file a Vermont income tax return. Call 1-866-828-2865 for more information. No property tax adjustment claims will be accepted or paid after October 15, 2016.
For more information visit the State of Vermont Department of Taxes: http://www.state.vt.us/tax/index.shtml