Overview of Vermont Taxes
The average effective property tax rate of 1.78% in Vermont ranks as the eighth highest in the U.S.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Vermont Property Taxes
The state of Vermont is one of the few states in which the state itself levies a property tax in addition to those the local government does. The state’s “education tax” supports schools (as do local school district taxes in most other states) and is the largest single source of property taxes in Vermont.
That statewide education tax is one reason the Green Mountain State has some of the highest property tax rates in the country. The average effective rate of 1.78% in Vermont ranks as the eighth highest in the U.S. Below, we will look at rates from across the state and other important property tax rules that every Vermont homeowner should know. (Find even more information in our Vermont mortgage guide.)
Looking to calculate your potential monthly mortgage payment? Check out our mortgage payment calculator.
How the Vermont Property Tax Works
There are two types of property taxes in Vermont: local property taxes and the state education tax rate. Local property tax rates are determined by municipalities and are applied to a home’s assessed value. The assessed value is determined by local assessors, who are called listers in Vermont.
The state requires a city or town to conduct a reappraisal if the assessed values in an area fall below 80% of the market value. Otherwise there are no strict regulations on when listers need to reappraise property; it varies from one town to the next.
The education tax paid by homeowners depends on a variety of factors, including the per-pupil spending in their local schools, the type of property (residential homestead or other) and the state-determined common level of appraisal (CLA).
The state government determines the CLA for each tax district. It represents the overall level of appraised values compared to actual market values. A city with a high common level of appraisal has generally over-appraised property and therefore should pay a lower rate. This ensures that everyone pays a fair share of the education tax.
Vermont Property Tax Rates
In Vermont, rates on residential, owner-occupied property are generally lower than those on other types of property. The homestead tax rate is set each year and adjusted based on the CLA (described above) and the spending per pupil. Except in areas with a very high level of spending per pupil, the homestead rate will be lower than the general rate.
The table below shows the average effective tax rate in every county, as well as the median home value and the median annual property tax rate. Average effective tax rate is a good way to compare taxes across areas. It is calculated as the annual taxes paid by a typical homeowner as a percentage of home value.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
Vermont’s Chittenden County is situated on the eastern shores of Lake Champlain and contains the city of Burlington. It has among the highest property taxes in the state. The median annual property tax homeowners in Chittenden County pay is $4,828, highest in the state and more than double the national average.
In the city of Burlington, the total municipal tax rate is 0.7971%, and that applies to assessed value. The common level of appraisal is 82.42% – that means assessed values are about 82% of true market values. For that reason, the school tax rate is higher in Burlington than in much of the state, at 1.7903%.
Rutland County is located in western Vermont, stretching from the southern tip of Lake Champlain east to the city of Killington. On average, property tax rates in Rutland County are higher than they are in any other county in the state. Rutland County’s average effective property tax rate is 1.94%.
That means that a typical homeowner in Rutland County pays about 1.94% of his or her home value in property taxes every year. The state average is 1.78%, and the national average is 1.19%.
This central Vermont county has property taxes somewhat higher than the state average. The median annual property tax paid by homeowners in Washington County is $4,065, fourth highest in the state. In Montpelier, the state capital and largest city in the county, rates are among the highest in the state. The municipal tax rate in Washington County is 1.0499%, in addition to the school rate of 1.6234%.
With a population of about 56,000, Windsor County is the fourth most populous county in Vermont. It also has some of the highest property taxes. The average effective property tax rate in Windsor County is 1.96%, second highest in the state. At that rate, the annual taxes on a home worth $200,000 would be $3,920.
If you’re looking for low property taxes in Vermont, Franklin County may be your best bet. The county’s average effective property tax is 1.61%, the second lowest average in the state. In St. Albans, the largest city in the county, the total municipal rate was 0.8775% (which is in addition to the school tax rate), the highest in the county.
Windham County is located between the Green Mountains and the Connecticut River in southern Vermont. Homeowners in Windham County pay a median property tax of $4,110, fifth highest in the state. The average effective property tax rate in Windham county is 1.96%. That is the highest county rate in Vermont.
Much of Bennington County is rural, covered by Green Mountain National Forest and mostly untouched by civilization. In the portions that have are inhabited, property taxes are a key source of revenue to support schools and basic functions of local government. The county’s average effective tax rate of 1.74% is fifth lowest in the state.
In the city of Bennington, the total municipal rate is low - less than 0.5% - but the total tax rate for the city is still about 2%. That tax rate applies to a property’s assessed value, which is about 7% lower than market value in Bennington, according to the state of Vermont.
Addison County is located between Chittenden and Rutland Counties in western Vermont. The largest town is Middlebury, home of Middlebury College. The median annual property tax in Addison County is $4,238, second highest in the state.
This eastern Vermont County has property tax rates near the state average. The average effective property tax rate in Caledonia County is 1.83%, compared to a state average of 1.78%. It is worth noting however, that rates in nearby New Hampshire are even higher. For example, the average effective rate in New Hampshire’s Grafton County (which is across the Connecticut River from Caledonia County) is 1.96%.
Orange County has a population just under 30,000, making it the 10th largest county in Vermont. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 1.84%, fifth highest in the state. At that rate, taxes on a home worth $200,000 would be $3,680 per year.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites