Vermont has one of the nation’s top public education systems, and this would not be possible without its heavy property tax assessment. Although the average effective property tax rate depends on the county, residents of Vermont can expect to pay one of the highest property tax levies in the country. However, property tax rates in Vermont are relatively close to other states in the northeast United States. Average rates by county in Vermont range from 1.59 to 1.96%, with Vermont’s statewide average effective property tax rate settling in at 1.72% of the property’s assessed value.

Average Property Taxes

Vermont’s average effective property tax is the eighth-highest in the country among the 50 states and D.C., with an average rate of 1.72%. According ot SmartAsset, a home valued in Vermont at $250,000 at that rate would pay an average of $4,298 in property taxes each year. The average national property tax rate of 1.21% on a home with the same value would result in an annual tax payment of $3,028 — more than $1,200 less than someone living in Vermont.  

Property Taxes by County

Windham and Windsor Counties all have the highest average effective tax rates at 1.96%. In Windham, the median value of a home was $209,500, with an average annual tax payment of $4,110, while Windsor's median home value was $215,800. The average annual tax payment in that county was slightly higher at $4,231. 

Grand Isle County fared the lowest in terms of effective property tax rates in the state. At 1.59%, the median home value in the county was $259,600 — some of the highest in Vermont — with an average annual tax payment of $4,129. 

Vermont Property Taxes Compared to Neighboring States

The states neighboring Vermont have comparable property tax levies. New York’s property tax assessment had an effective property tax rate of 1.65%, which is the tenth-highest in the nation. Massachusetts’s rate is lower than Vermont’s average rate by 0.51%. Its rate of 1.21% is still the 18th-highest assessment in the United States. However, Vermont trails its neighbor to the east, as New Hampshire’s rate of 2.19% is the third-highest in the country.

Local and State Property Tax Policies

Vermont is one of only a handful of states that levies a state property tax in addition to the local government’s assessment. Local property taxes are levied to a home’s assessed value. One reason property taxes in Vermont are high is if the assessed value of the property falls below 80% of the market value, the property must be reassessed. Therefore, Vermont property taxes are typically assessed at high base values.

Common Level of Appraisal

Vermont has enacted a policy to distribute property taxes across the state. This policy is called the common level of appraisal (CLA), and it's determined by the state and relates to each tax district. The overall assessed property values are compared to actual market values. Cities with a high CLA have properties with high appraised values. Therefore, they are assessed lower property taxes. Alternatively, areas with a low CLA are assessed a higher tax to ensure the entire state pays its fair share of the state-implemented education tax.

Education Tax/Public Schools

Vermont levies a state property tax for the sole reason of funding public education. This education tax is the largest source of property taxes in the state. This tax is calculated using a number of factors such as the type of property and the average per-pupil spending in local schools. This education tax has resulted in Vermont being ranked as having the sixth-best public school system in the country. Pupils in Vermont average the fifth-highest mathematics test scores, and the state has the lowest pupil-to-teacher ratio in the United States.

The Bottom Line

Vermont has one of the country's highest property tax rates, and sits well above the national average. While it may seem jarring, a good portion of the revenue collected from property taxes goes toward funding for public education. This has made the state's public school system one of the best in the country. 

Idaho Property Tax Guide

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