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Property Tax Exemptions

Native American Tribe Exemption

Beginning with the 2023 Grand List, real and personal property owned by a Native American tribe that has been recognized pursuant to 1 V.S.A. Chapter 23 or owned by a nonprofit organization that is organized for the tribe’s benefit and controlled by the tribe, provided the property is used for purposes of the tribe and is not leased or rented for profit, are exempt from taxation.

Native American Tribes as identified by statute:

  • Elnu Abenaki tribe
  • Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation
  • Koasek Abenaki of the Koas
  • Missisquoi, St. Francis-Sokoki band

The analysis for determining whether property is exempt under 32 V.S.A. § 3802(21) begins with an identification of the ownership and primary use of the property. It is important to note that all real property and improvements must be used for the purposes of the tribe in order to demonstrate and obtain tax exempt status.

How to Apply

  1. Complete Form PVR-317, Vermont Property Tax Public, Pious, or Charitable Exemption. This application has been modified to allow for the demonstration of Native American tribe’s tax exemption.
  2. Print a copy of the official notice of the Native American Tribe Exemption to include with your application to the town lister or assessor if needed.

Public, Pious, And Charitable Use Exemption

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)

How to Apply

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.

Disabled Veterans

Disabled veterans who own their homes (in fee simple) may be eligible for a property tax exemption. The exemption reduces the assessed value of the property, lowering the veteran’s property taxes. See 32 V.S.A. § 3802.

State law mandates a minimum $10,000 property tax exemption for veterans in both the municipal and education grand list. Cities and towns may vote to increase the exemption up to $40,000 in the municipal grand list. The value of a veteran’s property will be reduced by the amount of the exemption. Veterans are eligible for the exemption in one of three circumstances:

  • Disability compensation for 50% or higher disability or
  • Non-Service connected pension (“improved pension”) or
  • Military retirement pay for a permanent medical military retirement

If a disability qualifies a veteran for this exemption, the federal Department of Veterans Affairs will issue a Summary of Benefits Letter. Submit the current year application to the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs by May 1 of each year. Please note: Surviving spouses of veterans who had previously qualified for this exemption may also be eligible if they do not re-marry.

For questions regarding the application process and eligibility visit the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs website or call (802) 828-3379 or (888) 666-9844. To learn more about this exemption, read our fact sheet, Veterans and Property Taxes: What You Should Know.

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.