Vermont: Tax Commissioner corrects statewide property rate

By Anne Galloway

The statewide property tax could go up 7 cents — not 5 cents — next year as originally reported by the tax commissioner, Mary Peterson.

In her letter to lawmakers in November, Peterson recommended that the rate increase by 5 cents per $100 of assessed property value. In a memo sent on Friday, she issued a correction: There was an error in the original calculation that could push the rate to 7 cents. The state’s consultant “erroneously reported” the State and Local Government Price Index in several calculations that skewed the formula.
Last year, the rate went up 5 cents for homestead (residential) property and 6 cents for non-residential (commercial and second home) property owners, according to a spreadsheet from the Joint Fiscal Office. The statewide base property tax rate increased by 7 cents from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2014.

If the Legislature, as expected, approves another 5 cent increase in fiscal year 2015, the rates will be 99 cents for homestead and $1.49 for non-residential.

That increase will be painful for many taxpayers.

Under a possible 7-cent scenario, rates would go up to $1.01 for homestead and $1.51 for non-residential property owners.

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