Town tax rates stable for most of ANwSU district

VERGENNES — The five towns in the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union (ANwSU) area received their state educational property tax rates last week for the next fiscal year. These educational rates, which typically make up about three-fourths of the towns’ total residential tax rates, will mostly remain stable relative to recent years.
Vermont school tax rates are determined by the state Legislature, which adopts a yearly base rate; and by school boards, which approve local budgets. The state Department of Taxes then uses the common level of appraisal system to set town tax rates.
There were no significant changes in next year’s ANwSU’s budget. The only significant increase in residential school tax rates in the Addison Northwest area this year — an 11 percent hike in Ferrisburgh — can be largely attributed to a low common level of appraisal this year (meaning that previous town property values were underestimated).
The new residential school tax rate in Ferrisburgh will be $1.51 per $100 dollars of property value or $1,510 for a home valued at $100,000.
However, most property owners in Ferrisburgh will not pay the full freight as the majority qualify for property tax relief.
In 2008, for example, 72 percent of Ferrisburgh households qualified for relief at a median amount of $1,696, according to the Department of Taxes. These numbers are typical for the Addison Northwest area.
In addition to the school property tax rate, each town has a municipal residential rate, which funds town budgets. Vergennes, Ferrisburgh and Addison have already voted on their municipal rates.
One change did occur in the ANwSU structure: the Panton, Waltham, Vergennes I.D. school district voted to dissolve and roll its budget into the Vergennes elementary school. This district previously did not have a school, and the consolidation will cut down on administrative costs.
Below are next year’s property tax rates in the Addison Northwest district. Municipal rates are also included if they have been set (all rates are given in terms of taxes per $100 of property value):
· Vergennes’ residential school tax rate will increase from $1.24 to $1.29. As the Independent reported on July 1, Vergennes alderman voted to keep the city’s municipal tax rate flat at 60.3 cents. This means the total residential tax rate in Vergennes this year will be $1.89, assuming the property owner does not qualify for tax relief. The new non-residential rate will be $1.96.
· Ferrisburgh’s residential school tax rate will increase from $1.37 to $1.51, and the new non-residential school rate will be $1.53. The town has also passed a municipal rate of $0.27, meaning that the total residential tax rate will be $1.78.
This translates to an increase of $160 per $100,000 of property value.
· Panton’s residential school tax rate will decrease from $1.59 to $1.58. The town’s non-residential tax rate will be $1.67 and it will determine its municipal rate at the end of July or the first week of August, according to town clerk Susan Torrey.
· Addison’s residential school tax rate will increase from $1.51 to $1.56. Coupled with a 34-cent municipal tax rate, the town’s total residential tax rate will be $1.90. The new non-residential rate will be $1.81.
· Waltham’s residential school tax rate will increase from $1.43 to $ 1.44. The non-residential rate will be $1.67 and the town’s municipal rate will be set in the first week of August according to assistant town clerk Tom Langeway.
Reporter George Altshuler is at [email protected].

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