This year we learn the property tax rate will increase by a penny ($1.51 from $1.50 per $100 of assessed value for homesteads, and $1.59 as opposed to $1.58 for non-residential properties). This is necessary to fund an additional $70.5 million in new spending this year.
Vermont homeowners with professional incomes are well aware of the pain experienced when it comes time to pay the local property tax. The average effective property tax rate of 1.78 percent places Vermont at No. 8 in the top 10 highest in the U.S.
Just in time for the April 15 tax-filing deadline, a new online report shows that Vermonters have a lot of reasons to sing the blues: They have one of the nation’s highest state tax loads to bear.
Vermont continues to rank behind most other states when it comes to tax burden, according to a report by 24/7 Wall Street.
WalletHub found that states with the highest real-estate taxes are New Jersey, Illinois, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Vermont, Texas, Nebraska, and New York.
If we don’t change our tax policies we will not only find that we can’t attract high asset retirees, but we will neither be able to retain our own. And, like New York, we will find ourselves wondering where our revenue has gone.
“I’ll tell you very, very simply: I have a house in Florida. I will pay no income tax and the house in Florida’s property taxes are $2,000 less than we were paying in Boothbay,” LePage said. “At my age, why wouldn’t you conserve your resources?”
It’s too early to know if the Senate’s budget compromise will survive. But it’s a good faith effort that deserves consideration. Most important, it keeps the homestead rate flat. It’s worth being adopted by the House and signed into law by the governor. It’s time to move on.
The Democrats would get the needed pay-down of pensions liabilities they want and successfully avoid the use of one-time funds for ongoing education expenses. Scott and the Republicans could legitimately claim that, when you balance the tax increase with the tax rebate check, they did not raise taxes.
By using Game Theory, we can predict that any compromise will fall in line more with what Gov. Phil Scott wants and less with what Democratic leadership has proposed, helping Vermont avoid a government shutdown. Scott has the self-interest and the leverage to stand firm for stable taxes.
The problem the Democrats face is that most homeowners badly want property tax relief, and are not very receptive to appeals for sound fiscal practice. It is after all election year, and if Scott’s proposal prevails, his strong suit in November will be that “he stopped rising school property taxes.”