An examination of what we will pay in property taxes

In January, I took on the task of addressing what I thought was a simple question: “What will we pay in property taxes this year?”

Then, as now, the short answer is: “We don’t know.”

However, the longer answer is that, if the selectboard’s revised budget is approved by the voters on May 2, the average increase in our fiscal year 2024 property taxes will be 6 percent. The key word in that sentence is “average.” Some of us will see larger increases in our property taxes; some will see smaller changes.

I’ve summarized the situation in this chart. Here are the key points:

  • The assessed value of our Charlotte homes — the Grand List — will change once the town-wide reappraisal process is completed later this summer. Expectations are for an average increase in property values of 22 percent.
  • Both the tax rates that are used to calculate property taxes — the Municipal Tax rate and the Education Homestead Tax rate — will change once reappraisals have been completed. But the total amount to be raised by property taxes will not change (assuming voters approve the selectboard’s proposed fiscal year 2024 budget on May 2).

    Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay
    Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay
  • After the reappraisal is completed, if your home is assessed at $500,000, your property taxes will be $7,571, a 6 percent increase.
  • Charlotte’s share of the Champlain Valley School District’s fiscal year 2024 budget makes up 86 percent of our property taxes, so changes in the town budget, recently reduced by almost $166,000, have only a small impact on our total property tax bills.

Many thanks to the several town and Champlain Valley School District employees who helped me better understand how our property taxes are calculated.

(John Quinney is publisher of The Charlotte News and president of the board of directors. The opinions expressed here are his own and not necessarily those of the board or the paper.)