Important Reminders about Vermont Property Taxes

How are Education property taxes calculated? Your town's education tax rate is its locally voted education spending amount pe pupil divided by the statewide homestead property "yield".  That number is then divided by your town's CLA (see below) to get the rate that appears on this tax bill.  The nonhomestead tax rate is the statewide rate divided by your town's CLA.For detailed town-level calculations and answers to frequently asked questions about property taxes, go to www.tax.vermont.gov/property/education-property-tax-rates

What is the Common Level of Appraisal (CLA)?  The CLA is the primary result of the Equalization Study conducted by the Vermont Department of Taxes every year. The study compares the listed value on the grand list to the sale price for all the arms-length sales in the town during a prior three-year period. The CLA does not change taxpayer’s property values, only the education tax rate in a town. It is a method of ensuring that each town is paying its fair share of Education Property Tax to the state’s Education Fund, based on actual real estate market trends.

Homestead Declaration (FormHS-122, Section A):  If you meet the requirements to file a Vermont Homestead Declaration, you must file each year. A “homestead” is your principal dwelling and parcel of land surrounding the dwelling. Your town uses the Homestead Declaration to assess the correct Education Property Tax rate.

Property Tax Credit Claim (FormHS-122, Section B with Schedule HI-144) If you filed a Homestead Declaration, you may be eligible for a Property Tax Credit based on your household income from the prior calendar year.  The credit i applied against your current year's property tax bill, indicated as a "state payment".  Credit claims can be filed after the April deadline for Homestead Declarations but will be reduced by $15.

File Online for Free: You may file your Homestead Declaration and, if eligible, your Property Tax Credit online at www.mytax.vermont.gov

Penalties for Late Filing / Neglecting to File / Fraudulent Filing: If you file your Homestead Declaration after the April deadline, the town may assess a penalty of up between 3% and 8%, depending on whether the non-homestead rate is lower or higher than the homestead education property rate in your town. If you file after the October extended deadline or fail to file, the town will classify your property as non-homestead and charge you the higher of the two rates, assess a penalty, and require you to pay any interest due. Before filing, make sure your property meets the definition of Vermont homestead. If you are found to have filed fraudulently, the town may assess a penalty equal to 100% of you Education Property Tax. Th determination of domicile for purposes of a Homestead Declaration or assessment of fraud penalty may be appealed to the Commissioner, within 30 days, by filing through the Superior Court. For more information, go to tax.vermont.gov/property-owners/homestead-declaration.

Vermont Current Use Program (also known as the Use Value Appraisal Program): The eligible agricultural and forest lands of property owners who enroll in the Current Use Program are taxed at the “use value” (set by the Current Use Value Advisory Board once a year) of the land rather than its listed value. Applications are due by Sept. 1, 2021. For additional information and to apply for a new enrollment or to change your existing enrollment, visit secure.vermont.gov/TAX/ecuse/.

Assistance and Ordering Forms: For assistance, call (866) 828-2865 (toll-free in Vermont) or (802) 828-2865 (local or out-of-state). Paper forms for the Homestead Declaration, Property Tax Credit Claim, and the Current Use Program are available at tax.vermont.gov/forms. You may also order paper forms at tax.vermont.gov/form-request or call toll-free in Vermont at (855) 297-5600.

File Online for Free: You may file your Homestead Declaration and if eligible, your Property TaxCredit online at myVTax.vermont.gov.

More Information: For more information, visit tax.vermont.gov/property-owners