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 1.49 to 1.89%, 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 ninth-highest in the country among the 50 states. The median property tax assessed in Vermont is $3,444, which is the eighth-highest in the country. Vermont has the third-highest ratio of property tax assessed to individual income, as residents contribute 5.55% of their income toward property taxes.

Property Taxes by County

Rutland County, located in western Vermont, has the highest average effective tax rate in Vermont at 1.89%. This leads to a median annual property tax payment of $3,335. Windsor County has an average effective rate of $1.87% and a median property tax payment of $4,047. The third-highest property tax rate in Vermont is 1.84% in Windham, where the median property tax assessment is $3,810. The largest median property tax payment in Vermont, at $4,437, occurs in Chittenden County.

The lowest average effective property tax rate in Vermont is found in Franklin County, where the property tax rate is 1.49%. Grand Isle has the second-lowest rate at 1.52%. While Essex County’s rate of 1.55% is the third-lowest in Vermont, and its median annual property tax payment is the lowest in the state at $1,897. Orleans County and Caledonia County have the second- and third-lowest median property tax payments in the state at $2,484 and $2,838, respectively.

Neighboring States

The states neighboring Vermont have comparable property tax levies. New York’s property tax assessment is closest to Vermont’s, as the "Big Apple" levies an average effective property tax rate of 1.58%, which is the 11th-highest in the nation. Massachusetts’s rate is lower than Vermont’s average rate by 0.54%. Its rate of 1.18% is still the 21st-highest assessment in the United States. However, Vermont trails its neighbor to the east, as New Hampshire’s rate of 2.1% 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.

Idaho Property Tax Guide

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