Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Education > Are your school taxes a problem?

Are your school taxes a problem?

There is serious talk in the Legislature about changing how we govern and fund public education in Vermont. And proposed changes could have a dramatic effect on Vermonters’ control over their schools, on who pays the bill, and on the quality of education available to our children.

At the vtdigger school funding panel discussion in Montpelier last week and in a blog posted earlier this week, we have expressed concern about the lack of real evidence of a school funding crisis.

We know that roughly two-thirds of Vermonters pay school taxes on their homes based on their income. The idea behind the income-based school tax was to have school funding more closely linked to average Vermonters’ ability to pay. Are the income-based taxes too high?

Many higher-income people, who pay based on their property value instead of income, pay a smaller share of their income to support Vermont schools than most middle-income residents do. Are there some in this higher-income group who think school taxes are excessive?

We’ve read the news stories saying property taxes are too high. But it’s hard to know what “too high” means without seeing a tax bill and having some idea about the taxpayer’s ability to pay.

So we’re looking for information. If you (or someone you know) would like to help shed light on the “crisis” by providing specific information, we need the following:

  1. A copy of your most recent property tax bill—and your bills for the past three years if you still have them.
  2. If your tax bill does not show a state adjustment, did you apply for an adjustment? (Eligibility varies with individual circumstance, but typically households with income of up to about $105,000 can pay school taxes on their primary residences based on household income and receive an adjustment on their property tax bill.)
  3. A brief statement of why, based on your personal situation, you see a crisis in school funding.
  4. An email address and phone number where we can reach you.

You can either mail this information to us at:

School Taxes, c/o Public Assets Institute, PO Box 942, Montpelier, VT   05601

or email it to us at:

Please feel free to forward this post to your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.

Any analysis we publish based on reader responses will not include information that allows individuals to be identified. We want to contribute to the development of good fiscal policy for Vermont, and good policy starts with good information.




Posted by Paul Cillo on December 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

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