Ferrisburgh residential tax rate is up 3.7 percent

FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh selectboard on Monday adopted a fiscal year 2016-2017 residential tax rate that is 7.01 cents, or about 3.7 percent, higher than the 2015-2016 rate.
The town’s new residential rate is $1.9701 per $100 of property value, up from exactly $1.90 in 2015-2016.
For homeowners who pay based solely on the value of their property, the increase will mean another $70.10 in taxes per each $100,000 of assessed value.
Homeowners who pay based on the income provisions of Vermont’s education finance law will see adjustments on their 2016-2017 bills that will soften the blow of the increase this year, and many already received adjustments on this year’s bill based on last year’s payments.
In 2014, Vermont Department of Taxes data showed that 6,918 Addison County residents received adjustments, or prebates, that averaged $1,587. Typically, about two-thirds of a town’s residents receive prebates.
Meanwhile Ferrisburgh’s non-residential rate adopted on Monday dropped by about 2.3 cents. The new non-residential rate is $1.7389, down from $1.7619.
Business property owners and landlords will pay about $23 less per $100,000 of assessed value this year.
Most of the increase in Ferrisburgh’s residential rate and the decrease in its non-residential rate can be traced to state school-tax calculations.
The Ferrisburgh selectboard on Monday adopted a rate of $0.2731 to pay for town services and charitable contributions residents approved on Town Meeting Day. That figure meant an increase of 0.58 cent — or about 2 percent — from 2015-2016’s municipal rate of $0.2673.
Meanwhile Ferrisburgh’s residential school tax rate rose by 6.43 cents, or about 3.9 percent, to $1.697. The previous school tax rate stood at $1.6327.
Addison Northwest Supervisory Union property taxpayers will receive a 10-cent discount on their 2017-2018 tax bills, after school unification under one-board governance takes effect in July 2017.
That discount did not apply to school budgets voted on at the same time as unification, this past March, but will last, in decreasing amounts, for another four years.
ANwSU officials had projected a lower increase, but legislative factors out of their control added almost 3 cents to the rates.
 Legislators at the beginning of this past session fixed the basic statewide rates by which residential property owners pay school taxes at $1 for residents who pay by the value of their property and 2 percent for those who pay based on their income.
The Agency of Education had projected those rates would yield $9,870 to contribute toward educating each pupil in Vermont, and local school districts, including ANwSU, based their estimates on those projections when they released them for Town Meeting Day. 
But officials said when the dust settled, even though Legislators dedicated all but $200,000 of a $18.8 million fund balance from the past fiscal year to the cause, the rates yielded only $9,701.
Officials said thus local residential rates had to increase to make up the difference.
Ferrisburgh tax bills will go out soon, and the first quarterly installment is due on Sept. 1. 

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