Municipal tax rate set for next fiscal year

At a special meeting of the Selectboard on July 30, board members voted to set the municipal tax rate for 2017/18 at $0.1719, a reduction about one-half of one cent on last year’s rate $0.1767.

Town Clerk/Treasurer Mary Mead said the tax rate calculation included a correction that had been made due to a legal settlement, an abatement of rent with interest, and sewer with interest that had been escrowed but was still on the books as receivables and deferred revenue. “There are still more bills to pay for 2016/17, so the financials of course are not a finished product, and there will be auditor’s adjusting entries as well,” Mead said.

The total budget for 2017/18 is $3,0846,847.

The 411 Report for the grand list, Vermont state education tax rates, a balance sheet report, and the budget status report were used in setting the rate, Mead said. The grand list report shows a municipal grand list figure of $9,212,666 which is used in the calculation. At Town Meeting time the estimate for the grand list was $9,205,667.

Compared to last year, the homestead rate is significantly decreased. It was $1.6272, compared to $1.4301 this year. The non‐residential rate last year was $1.5655, compared to $1.5505 this year.

“Keep in mind that the money raised for municipal taxes is about 10 percent of the total taxes raised by the town,” Selectboard Chair Lane Morrison said.

The remaining 90 percent of the taxes that homeowners pay comes in the form of the mandated state education tax rate. Last year, that number was $1.8039, Morrison said. For 2017/18, taxpayers will be seeing a total tax rate for municipal and education of $1.6020, meaning there has been a 12 percent reduction in the property tax rate from 2016/17. That reduction came about due to a decision made by voters last year.

“The reason for the reduction in the state education tax is because our town voted to consolidate school districts last year,” Morrison said. “Therefore our tax rate is the average of the consolidated district. Last year Charlotte was higher than the average; therefore, this new rate is a benefit to us. Additionally, there was an incentive from the state to consolidate, and that is also included in this lower average rate.”