Understanding Property Taxes

Education Tax Rate
Land Gains Tax
Land Gains Withholding Tax
Property Tax Adjustment
Property Transfer Tax
Real Estate Withholding Tax
Use Value Appraisal Program or Current Use


A property tax is a levy on property that the owner is required to pay, with rates set as a percentage of the home value. Property assessments include two components-the improvement or building value, and the land or site value. Your property taxes help to fund local programs such as schools, fire stations, and municipal governments like select boards.

Additional information to help you with understanding property taxes, including how to appeal your property taxes can be found on the Secretary of State's website.


EDUCATION TAX RATE

The Homestead Education Tax Rate is based primarily on the education spending per equalized pupil of all the pupils residing in your town. Many town districts are also members of union school districts. Each town and union school district will have a tax rate based on its spending per pupil. For towns with multiple school districts, the tax rate is a combination of those rates.

Visit our Education Tax Rate FAQs or view the Education Property Tax Rate Table for more information.


LAND GAINS TAX

This tax applies on gains made from the sale or exchange of Vermont land held by the seller less than six years. The land gains tax rate is inversely proportionate to holding period. The tax applies to only the gain attributed to land (not buildings or structures). This tax is not imposed on land which is part of the first ten acres beneath or contiguous to the seller’s principal residence, or land purchased to build buyer’s principal residence (some conditions apply). Land may include timber and timer rights sold providing the underlying land is also sold within six years (some conditions apply).


LAND GAINS WITHHOLDING TAX

Anyone who purchases Vermont property that was held by the seller for less than six years is required to withhold 10% of the purchase price of the land from the seller and remit it to the Department of Taxes immediately after the sale on Form LGT-177, Vermont Land Gains Withholding Tax Return To Be Completed By Buyer (Transferee).  If a seller is a nonresident of Vermont, the buyer is required to withhold Vermont income tax, and the Vermont Withholding Tax Return for Transfer of Real Property must also be filed with the Department on Form RW-171, Vermont Withholding Tax Return for Transfer of Real Property.

A purchaser who fails to withhold or remit the tax is personally liable for the amount required to be withheld, plus statutory interest and penalty.


PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTMENT

Property Tax Adjustments assist many Vermont homeowners with paying their property taxes. You may be eligible for a property tax adjustment if you meet these eligibility requirements:

  • Your property is declared as your homestead
  • You were domiciled in Vermont for the full prior calendar year
  • You were not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer
  • You own the property as your principle residence as of April 1; and
  • Your household meets the household income criteria

The homestead declaration, property tax adjustment claim, and household income form, are generally submitted together with an income tax return. The credit is calculated by comparing property taxes paid based on property value to the amount allowed based on household income. The difference (if any) is applied as a credit to the property tax bill in the following tax year as “State Payments.” The maximum credit amount is $8,000.   


PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

This is a tax on the transfer of title to real property based on the purchase price paid by the buyer. A Property Transfer Tax Return must be filed with a town clerk whenever a deed that shows the transfer of title to real property is delivered to a town clerk for recording. A town clerk cannot record a deed unless it is accompanied by a completed Property Tax Return.  You may use myVTax to file your return. Tax preparers who file more than five returns or certificate requests per calendar year are required to use myVTax for filing. If you file fewer than five returns, you can order a specific form online or by contacting us at (802) 828-2515.


REAL ESTATE WITHHOLDING TAX

This tax requires taxpayers withhold 2.5% of the consideration for real property being sold by a non-resident of Vermont. The withholding is required to insure that the appropriate amount of taxes on any gain resulting from the transfer is paid when the non-resident seller files a Vermont income tax return. 

(Property Valuation and Review staff examine the income tax returns associated with withholding to determine final tax liabilities relative to the withheld amounts).


USE VALUE APPRAISAL PROGRAM OR CURRENT USE

The Use Value Appraisal Program (Current Use) is the valuation and taxation of farm and forest land based on its remaining in agricultural or forest use, instead of its value in the market place.  This program keeps Vermont's agricultural and forest land in production, slows the development of these lands, and achieves greater equity in property taxation on undeveloped land.

This program includes conservation land owned by qualifying nonprofit organizations and the exemption from all property taxes of eligible farm buildings. When an application is approved and recorded in the municipal land records, a lien is established on the enrolled land to recover a land use change tax should all or any portion of the enrolled land become developed.  Currently, more than 18,000 properties are enrolled, totaling more than 2.3 million acres which represents approximately 1/3 of Vermont's total land area.

2017 Use Values
Agricultural  Land $326/acre
Forest Land $135/acre
Forest Land greater than one mile from a Class 1,2, or 3 Road $101/acre

Learn more about the Current Use Program and how to apply.

Contact Us

Commissioner Kaj Samsom
133 State Street | Montpelier, VT 05633
(802) 828-2505

Taxpayer Assistance Window
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

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