May 20, 2024

Property tax increase moves through House

Montpelier, VT — Governor Phil Scott shared his concerns on a property tax bill passed by the Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

Bill H.887, which will increase property taxes on homestead and non-homestead properties to help fund education spending. Before the bill was passed, Scott said he did not think Vermonters would be able to accept the burden of the double-digit tax increase the bill would impose on them. 

“The yield bill being considered today in the house, and the huge property tax increase it will bring, I don’t believe is something most Vermonters can accept, and from what I’ve heard I don’t think the Senate will either,” Scott said. “Vermonters simply cannot afford a historic double digit increase in their property taxes.”

Scott was joined by Vermont Tax Commissioner Craig Bolio, who explained the nuances of the bill, and how homestead taxes would affect most Vermonters. He said renters and homeowners alike will feel the impact of tax increases. 

“It’s hard to imagine those kinds of costs not being passed on to tenants,” Bolio said. “As you’ve heard directly from the Governor, more needs to be done to address both the long-term structural problems in the education fund and the immediate affordability challenges that Vermonters are projected to face.”

Bolio explained that homestead property taxes are projected to increase by an average of 15 percent, and that non-homestead property taxes will increase by an average of 18 percent. 

In the House Chamber, some lawmakers urged their colleagues to think of Vermont’s students and teachers instead of disgruntled taxpayers when voting on the bill. Others voiced the concerns of their constituents who they said cannot shoulder the tax burden. 

After some back and forth discussion, the bill passed with 101 votes in favor and 39 votes against. 

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