Skip to main content

Property Tax for Nonprofit Organizations

If a property’s primary use is for public, pious, or charitable use, it may be exempt from state property taxes under Vermont law 32 V.S.A. § 3802(4). Primary use means “direct and immediate use” of the property, not “remote” or “incidental.”  Gifford Hospital v. Town of Randolph, 119 Vt. 66, 72 (1955).

Public, Pious, And Charitable Use Test

For the public, pious, or charitable use exemption to apply under the law, the property must meet all the following conditions: 

  • the property must be dedicated unconditionally to public use;
  • the primary use must directly benefit an indefinite class of persons who are part of the public, and must also confer a benefit on society as a result of the benefit conferred on the persons directly served; and
  • the property must be owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis.

American Museum of Fly Fishing, Inc. v. Town of Manchester, 151 Vt. 103, 110 (1989)

Taxation of Credit Unions

Credit unions are chartered at either the federal or state level. Federal credit unions are exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code, section 501(c)(1). State credit unions are exempt from federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code, section 501(c)(14). Both federal and state credit unions are exempt from Vermont income tax under Vermont law at 8 V.S.A. § 30901. Vermont law exempts federal and state credit unions from some state taxes, except for state and municipal property taxes and personal property taxes.

How To Apply For The Exemption

Your town lister makes the initial determination of whether a property is exempt from tax under the law. You may complete Form PVR-317, Vermont Property Tax Public, Pious, or Charitable Exemption application to present to the lister. The application will help you gather the necessary information the lister needs. It is important that you provide clear and detailed information about the property and its uses. Incomplete information will result in the exemption being denied.