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Middlebury tax rate increases by 9 cents

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents this fiscal year will see an 8.9-cent increase in their local property tax rate, a jump that’s almost exclusively associated with rising school costs.
The Middlebury selectboard in August set a fiscal year 2021 municipal property tax rate of 80.34 cents per $100 in assessed value, which is virtually level with the 2020 municipal rate of 80.26 cents.
The residential education property tax rate, predicated on K-12 spending, comes in at $1.6261 per $100 in assessed value, up 8.82 cents compared to fiscal year 2020. So the total fiscal year 2021 property tax rate for a Middlebury resident is $2.4295, an 8.9-cent bump.
Meanwhile, the new non-residential property tax rate in Middlebury has been set at $2.3831, which represents an increase of 3.2 cents. That rate includes a non-residential education property tax rate of $1.5797, a 3.14-cent bump compared to this year.
In addition, property owners in Middlebury’s core village area will pay a premium “downtown improvement district” tax of 5.32 cents per $100 in assessed value, money that is used for programming and improvements targeting public property in the downtown area.
Middlebury’s new municipal tax rate reflects a General Fund operating budget of $11,503,680 — of which $$7,571,924 will be raised through property taxes — back at the March 2 annual town meeting. At the same time, voters agreed to apply $583,745 from the Cross Street bridge surplus fund to help mitigate the tax impact of the spending plan.
Voters at the last town meeting also approved $63,720 in additional funding for Middlebury Regional EMS, and new appropriations of $5,000 for the Turning Point Center of Addison County and $5,000 for Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.
In addition to the amount to be raised for General Fund spending, the municipal tax rate reflects:
•  A veterans’ exemption. Several years ago, town voters raised the veterans’ property tax exemption from $10,000 to $40,000 of assessed value, noted Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay. As Middlebury taxpayers are responsible for the Education property taxes on the increased exempt value, that amount is also added to the tax rate and is listed separately.
•  A 2-cent appropriation on the tax rate for Middlebury Fire Department equipment: This year, 2 cents on the rate will raise $193,624.
The Fiscal Year 2021 Grand List as determined by the town listers is $9,681,224.46 (the Grand List is the total value of taxable property, $968,122,446 divided by 100).

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