By Audrey Richardson
Special To The Standard
KILLINGTON – Towns all over Vermont are taking the reappraisal plunge and seeing a drop in their tax rate. With property values often assessed higher than previous town assessments, the town’s tax rate is proportionally affected. In conjunction with this town wide reappraisal, the town of Killington will see a tax drop of nearly 6 percent this year. 2011 was Killington’s first year conducting this town wide appraisal. “It affects each tax payer differently, depending on their assessment,” said town manager, Kathleen Ramsay. Ramsay explained that given the rate of some properties going up that the benefit of the lower tax rates was somewhat neutralized.
Due to the rise in the Common Level Assessment (CLA) the town budget, if the same as 2010, will cause the tax rate to lower. The CLA is an adjustment to listed property values and allows the list property to reflect the fair market value. The state uses the CLA to equalize taxes across the board and every year a certain number of towns are ordered to reappraise. Under this equalization process, towns are assigned a common level of appraisal. It compares local assessments with the state estimation of actual market value. Towns where property is under or over market value are then required to adjust their tax rate.
As in 2010, the town estimates the same town budget at $2,310,480.00. If all goes to plan and the town does not go over largely over budget the taxes are certain decrease. With these figures, the town of Killington predicts the tax rate at .29 down .06 from last year’s rate of .32. Last year the grand list price was $6,950,000 and this year the grand list is approximately $8,300,000.00. The grand list value is determined as 1 percent of the property value. It costs Vermont towns nearly $100.00 per parcel to reappraise however, the state chips in $8.50 per parcel to help ease the cost. The town first projected the Common Level Assessment at 77.35 and found out on June 28 that it was actually $93.26. “One of the biggest determinants on the CLA is the educational tax rate,” said Ramsay. The projected education tax rate was $1.86 for residential and $1.76 for non-residential, however the actual 2011 tax rate looks to be $1.55 for residential and $1.46 for non-residential townspeople.
“If it were a non appraisal year it would be great if the tax rates went down,” said Ramsay about the proportional relationship of taxes and property assessments.
This article first appeared in the July 14th print edition of the Vermont Standard.