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Ferrisburgh school taxes drop

FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh homeowners will be getting a financial break on their taxes. According to school property tax numbers released by the Vermont Department of Taxes late last week, Ferrisburgh’s 2017-2018 homestead rate is 13.92 cents lower than this past year’s.
For the owners of a $300,000 home in Ferrisburgh who pay based on its assessed value and not on their income, that decrease means a school tax bill that will be $417.60 lower.
According to state figures provided to the Independent by town officials, Ferrisburgh’s homestead rate declined from $1.697 per $1,000 of assessed value to $1.5578. A year ago Ferrisburgh’s residential school rate rose by almost 6.5 cents.
Most of this year’s decrease can be attributed to the voter-approved unification of the Addison Northwest School District, which provided a 10-cent discount on the otherwise approved tax rate in ANWSD towns. Homeowners will see an 8-cent discount on their homestead rate next year and then smaller drops in the following three years.
Non-residential property owners do not receive Act 48 merger benefits, but those in Ferrisburgh will not see higher taxes: The non-residential rate is $1.4657, while a year ago it was $1.4658.
In addition to school taxes, property tax bills also include the municipal rate, which for Ferrisburgh has not yet been set.
Ferrisburgh’s municipal rate, that needed to pay for town roads, government, fire protection and other services, has stood at 27.31 cents in each of the past two years. The total rate for this past year — municipal and school rates — was $1.9701.
At town meeting this year, Ferrisburgh residents approved a total of a little more than $1.93 million of spending, slightly higher than in 2016.
However, town officials said they did not expect that spending to add much more than a half-cent to the rate, meaning the net impact of the town and school rates could be roughly a 13-cent decrease.
Selectboard chairwoman Loretta Lawrence said it was possible the board could adopt an overall new tax rate at its July 18 meeting, but was more likely to do so either at its Aug. 1 meeting or at a special meeting late in July. 

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