Essex residents in the town and village will see an increase in their property taxes when they open their mailboxes this month.
Tax rates are determined by Finance Director Sarah Macy and her team in the finance office at this time every year.
The Essex Selectboard approved the rate for all Essex homeowners on Aug. 2 and the Village Board of Trustees set the additional rate for their residents on July 27.
All Essex taxpayers
Because the Selectboard postponed an increase in the tax rate last year due to the pandemic, the community can expect to see a two-year increase on their upcoming bill.
The Town Selectboard set the combined general, capital and local agreement rate at $0.5507 which includes a 4.3% increase over the previous year.
“Keep in mind that’s pretty much a two-year increase because we had a 0% increase last year because of COVID,” Deputy Town Manager Greg Duggan said.
Unified Manager Evan Teich said a 0% increase year-over-year is not sustainable for municipal governments.
For the owner of a $280,000 home, this new tax rate equates to a bill of $1,542 — a $61 increase for Village taxpayers and a $30 increase for residents outside the Village.
Village of Essex Junction taxpayers
This month, Village residents will see a slightly higher than anticipated increase in their additional property taxes.
The Village board of trustees voted July 27 to set the tax rate at $0.3345 per $100 of assessed value, in order to raise the taxes necessary for the general fund budget including bond payments.
On Town Meeting Day, the tax rate was estimated to be $0.3334, but a smaller than anticipated expansion in the grand list — or value of all taxable property in the Village — caused the rate to increase.
The grand list increased by just 0.5% in the last year, a most-likely consequence of a slowdown in new construction which occurred throughout Vermont.
For the owner of a $280,000 home, the Village General tax will be $937, which is $12 more than last year. At the July 27 trustees meeting, Sarah Macy said the increase was previously estimated at $9.
“We had been anticipating more grand list growth, but I think $9 to $12 is pretty good,” she said.
The Village will also be billing a $0.01 tax per $100 of assessed value for Economic Development Capital Improvement Projects.
This tax was initially approved by voters on Town Meeting Day in 2016 with the provision that this tax rate is to be reconsidered in 2021. In March, voters extended this tax until 2024, at which point it will again be reconsidered.
In FY22, the $0.01 tax will raise $111,983.