Property taxes drop in Ferrisburgh

FERRISBURGH — Thanks to Ferrisburgh’s recently completed town-wide property reappraisal, town taxpayers are looking at lower rates this tax year, by about 8 cents for homeowners and 10 cents for commercial property owners.
Town Clerk Chet Hawkins said Ferrisburgh’s Common Level of Assessment (CLA) — which measures how the town’s property assessments stack up to fair market value, according to Vermont Department of Taxes calculations — rose by about 10 percent after the reappraisal.
When a town’s CLA increases, its tax rate decreases to compensate for the inflated assessments, as pegged by the state in relation to values in other towns. The system is intended to make sure town residents are paying taxes on as close to the true market value of their properties as possible.
The result in Ferrisburgh when the selectboard set the tax rates at a special meeting in late August for homeowners was a drop in the residential rate of 8.02 cents, which translates to a decrease of about $80 per $100,000 of assessed value of their homes.
Homeowners who receive prebates will not necessarily reap the full decrease.
The new rate is $1.5474 per $100 of assessed value, down from $1.6276 in the past year.
The municipal rate is 25.27 cents, down from 27.44 cents. Hawkins said the grand list grew during the reappraisal, meaning the portion of the rate needed to support town spending could drop dramatically despite a modest decrease of $27,000 in Ferrisburgh’s town budget.
The residential school tax rate is $1.2947 per $100 of assessed value, down from $1.3532 despite higher spending at Vergennes Union High School and Ferrisburgh Central School of about 6 and 5 percent, respectively.
For commercial property owners, the decrease is 9.94 cents, or just short of $100 per $100,000 of assessed value.
The news for the municipal rate is the same as for homeowners.
The non-residential school tax rate dropped by 7.77 cents, from $1.3931 to $1.3154.
Town officials said Ferrisburgh’s overall CLA previously stood at around 100 percent, but segments of town property, notably lakefront real estate and farmland, were under-assessed, and the selectboard authorized the reappraisal to address the inequities.

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