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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 32 : Taxation and Finance

Chapter 135 : EDUCATION PROPERTY TAX

(Cite as: 32 V.S.A. § 5401)
  • § 5401. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Coefficient of dispersion" is the average absolute deviation expressed as a percentage of the median ratio, and for a municipality in any school year shall be determined by the Director of Property Valuation and Review as follows:

    (A) calculate the ratio of the listed value to the fair market value of each property used in determining the equalized education property value of the municipality as required by section 5406 of this title;

    (B) determine the median of the ratios calculated in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (1);

    (C) determine the absolute deviation of each ratio from the median ratio calculated in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (1);

    (D) calculate the average absolute deviation.

    (2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Taxes.

    (3) "Common level of appraisal" means the ratio of the aggregate value of local education property tax grand list to the aggregate value of the equalized education property tax grand list.

    (4) "Director" means the Director of Property Valuation and Review.

    (5) "Education property tax grand list" means the list of property determined pursuant to section 5404 of this title. When the listed value of real property for school tax purposes is adjusted by a board of civil authority or a court, that board or court shall make a corresponding adjustment to the listed value for purposes of taxation under this chapter.

    (6) "Equalized education property tax grand list" means one percent of the aggregate fair market value of all nonresidential and homestead property that is required to be listed at fair market value as certified during that year by the Director of Property Valuation and Review under section 5406 of this title, plus one percent of the aggregate value of property required to be listed at a value established under a stabilization agreement described under section 5404a of this title, plus one percent of the aggregate use value established under chapter 124 of this title of all nonresidential property that is enrolled in the use value appraisal program.

    (7) "Homestead":

    (A) "Homestead" means the principal dwelling and parcel of land surrounding the dwelling, owned and occupied by a resident individual as the individual's domicile or owned and fully leased on April 1, provided the property is not leased for more than 182 days out of the calendar year, or for purposes of the renter property tax adjustment under subsection 6066(b) of this title, rented and occupied by a resident individual as the individual's domicile.

    (B) The parcel of land surrounding the dwelling shall be determined without regard to any road which intersects the land. If the parcel of land surrounding the dwelling is owned by a cooperative housing corporation incorporated under 11 V.S.A. chapter 14, or owned by a nonprofit land conservation corporation or community land trust with exempt status under 20 U.S.C § 501(c)(3), the homestead includes a pro rata part of the land upon which the dwelling is built, as determined by the cooperative corporation, nonprofit corporation, or land trust.

    (C) A homestead may consist of a part of a multi-dwelling or multi-purpose building, including cooperative property occupied as a permanent residence by a member of a cooperative housing corporation incorporated under 11 V.S.A. chapter 14. A mobile home may constitute a principal dwelling for purposes of this chapter.

    (D) A dwelling owned by a trust may qualify as a homestead if it meets the requirements of subsection 6062(e) of this title.

    (E) A homestead also includes a dwelling on the homestead parcel owned by a farmer as defined under section 3752 of this title, and occupied as the permanent residence by a parent, sibling, child, grandchild of the farmer, or shareholder, partner, or member of the farmer-owner, provided that the shareholder, partner, or member owns more than 50 percent of the farmer-owner, including attribution of stock ownership of a parent, sibling, child, or grandchild.

    (F) A homestead also includes any other improvement or structure on the homestead parcel which is not used for business purposes. A homestead does not include that portion of a principal dwelling used for business purposes if the portion used for business purposes includes more than 25 percent of the floor space of the building.

    (G) For purposes of homestead declaration and application of the homestead property tax rate, "homestead" also means a residence which was the homestead of the decedent at the date of death, and from the date of death through the next April 1 is held by the estate of the decedent and not rented.

    (H) A homestead does not include any portion of a dwelling that is rented and a dwelling is not a homestead for any portion of the year in which it is rented.

    (8) "Education spending" means "education spending" as defined in 16 V.S.A. § 4001(6).

    (9) "Municipality" means a city, town, unorganized town, village, grant, or gore; or, in the case of property located within the territorial limits of an incorporated school district, "municipality" means an incorporated school district.

    (10) "Nonresidential property" means all property except:

    (A) Property which is exempt from the municipal property tax by law and not by vote of the municipality.

    (B) Property which is subject to the tax on railroads imposed by subchapter 2 of chapter 211 of this title, the tax on telephone companies imposed by subchapter 6 of chapter 211 of this title, or the tax on electric generating plants imposed by chapter 213 of this title.

    (C) Homesteads declared in accordance with section 5410 of this title.

    (D) Personal property, machinery, inventory and equipment, ski lifts, and snow-making equipment for a ski area; provided, however, this subdivision shall not exclude from the definition of "nonresidential property" the following real or personal property:

    (i) utility cables and lines, poles, and fixtures (except those taxed under subchapter 6 of chapter 211 of this title); provided that utility cables, lines, poles, and fixtures located on homestead property and owned by the person claiming the homestead shall be taxed as homestead property;

    (ii) gas distribution lines (except aboveground meters, regulators and gauges, and leased water heaters are excluded personal property).

    (E) The excess valuation of property subject to tax increment financing in a tax increment financing district established under 24 V.S.A. chapter 53, subchapter 5 to the extent that the taxes generated on such excess valuation of property are committed under 24 V.S.A. § 1894 to finance tax increment financing district debt; provided that any increment in excess of the amounts committed shall be distributed in accordance with 24 V.S.A. § 1900.

    (F) Property owned by a municipality which is located within that municipality and which is used for municipal purposes including the provision of utility services.

    (G) Machinery and equipment used directly in the processing of whey, whether or not such machinery or equipment is attached or affixed to real property.

    Subdivision (10)(H) effective until January 1, 2017; see also subdivision (10)(H) effective January 1, 2017 set out below.

    (H) Real property, excluding land, consisting of unoccupied new facilities, or unoccupied facilities under renovation or expansion, owned by a business that has obtained the approval of the Vermont Economic Progress Council under section 5930a of this title that is less than 75 percent complete, not in use as of April 1 of the applicable tax year, and for a period not to exceed two years.

    Subdivision (10)(H) effective January 1, 2017; see also subdivision (10)(H) effective until January 1, 2017 set out above.

    (H) Repealed.]

    Subdivision (10)(I) effective until January 1, 2017; see also subdivision (10)(I) effective January 1, 2017 set out below.

    (I) Real property consisting of the value of remediation expenditures incurred by a business that has obtained the approval of the Vermont Economic Progress Council under section 5930a of this title for the construction of new, expanded or renovated facilities on contaminated property eligible under the redevelopment of contaminated properties program pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 6615a(f), including supporting infrastructure, on sites eligible for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "Brownfield Program," for a period of 10 years.

    Subdivision (10)(I) effective January 1, 2017; see also subdivision (10)(I) effective until January 1, 2017 set out above.

    (I) Repealed.]

    (J) Buildings and fixtures of:

    (i) wind-powered electric generating facilities taxed under section 5402c of this title; and

    (ii) renewable energy plants generating electricity from solar power that are taxed under section 8701 of this title.

    (K) Any parcel of land, but not buildings, that provides public access to public waters, as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1422(6), and that is also:

    (i) owned by the Town of Hardwick, and located in Greensboro, Vermont; or

    (ii) owned by the Town of Thetford, and located in Fairlee and West Fairlee, Vermont.

    (11) "Education property value" means the aggregate fair market value of all nonresidential and homestead real property that is required to be listed at fair market value as certified during that year by the Director of Property Valuation and Review under section 5406 of this title, plus the aggregate value of property required to be listed at a value established under a stabilization agreement described under section 5404a of this title, plus the aggregate use value established under chapter 124 of this title of all nonresidential real property that is enrolled in the use value appraisal program.

    (12) "Excess spending" means:

    (A) The per-equalized-pupil amount of the district's education spending, as defined in 16 V.S.A. § 4001(6), plus any amount required to be added from a capital construction reserve fund under 24 V.S.A. § 2804(b).

    Subdivision (12)(B) effective until July 1, 2017; see also subdivision (12)(B) effective July 1, 2017 set out below and note set out below.

    (B) In excess of 121 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil increased by inflation, as determined by the Secretary of Education on or before November 15 of each year based on the passed budgets to date. As used in this subdivision, "increased by inflation" means increasing the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil for fiscal year 2014 by the most recent New England Economic Project cumulative price index, as of November 15, for state and local government purchases of goods and services, from fiscal year 2014 through the fiscal year for which the amount is being determined.

    Subdivision (12)(B) effective July 1, 2017; see also subdivision (12)(B) effective until July 1, 2017 set out above and note set out below.

    (B) In excess of 121 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil increased by inflation, as determined by the Secretary of Education on or before November 15 of each year based on the passed budgets to date. As used in this subdivision, "increased by inflation" means increasing the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil for fiscal year 2015 by the most recent New England Economic Project cumulative price index, as of November 15, for state and local government purchases of goods and services, from fiscal year 2015 through the fiscal year for which the amount is being determined.

    Subdivision (13) shall apply to fiscal years 2017 and after.

    (13)(A) "Education property tax spending adjustment" means the greater of: one or a fraction in which the numerator is the district's education spending plus excess spending, per equalized pupil, for the school year; and the denominator is the property dollar equivalent yield for the school year, as defined in subdivision (15) of this section.

    (B) "Education income tax spending adjustment" means the greater of: one or a fraction in which the numerator is the district's education spending plus excess spending, per equalized pupil, for the school year; and the denominator is the income dollar equivalent yield for the school year, as defined in subdivision (16) of this section.

    (14) "Domicile" means the principal dwelling of a person who has established permanent residence in the State. Intention to establish permanent residence is a factual determination to be made in the first instance by the Commissioner. No one factor is conclusive of whether a dwelling is a permanent residence; the Commissioner may consider any relevant factors, including the following:  formal and informal statements of the declarant; the location of residences owned or leased by the declarant; where the declarant spends time; the declarant's place of employment and business connections; the location of items of significant value (either monetary or sentimental) to declarant; where the declarant's family lives; place of voter registration; place of issuance of automobile registration and driver's license; previous permanent residency of the declarant; and address listed on federal and State income tax returns filed by the declarant.

    Subdivision (15) shall apply to fiscal years 2017 and after.

    (15) "Property dollar equivalent yield" means the amount of spending per equalized pupil that would result if the homestead tax rate were $1.00 per $100.00 of equalized education property value, and the statutory reserves under 16 V.S.A. § 4026 and section 5402b of this title were maintained.

    Subdivision (16) shall apply to fiscal years 2017 and after.

    (16) "Income dollar equivalent yield" means the amount of spending per equalized pupil that would result if the income percentage in subdivision 6066(a)(2) of this title were 2.0 percent, and the statutory reserves under 16 V.S.A. § 4026 and section 5402b of this title were maintained. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 45, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 7, 7a, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 58, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 34, eff. April 29, 1998; 1999, No. 49, §§ 7, 18, eff. June 2, 1999; 2001, No. 53, § 1, eff. June 12, 2001; 2001, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 21, 2002; 2003, No. 66, § 289b; 2003, No. 68, § 3; 2003, No. 68, § 28, eff. June 18, 2003; 2003, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 13, 14, eff. Feb. 17, 2004; 2005, No. 38, §§ 16, 24; 2005, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. March 8, 2006; 2005, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2007, No. 66, §§ 11, 25, eff. July 1, 2007; 2007, No. 82, § 21, eff. July 1, 2007; 2007, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 24; 2009, No. 44, § 19, eff. May 21, 2009; 2011, No. 45, § 13c, eff. May 24, 2011; 2011, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2013; 2011, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 37, eff. May 15, 2012; 2013, No. 60, §§ 1, 2; 2013, No. 73, § 38, eff. June 5, 2013; 2013, No. 80, § 11; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 283, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 57, 58, eff. Jan. 1, 2015; 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 59, 60; 2015, No. 46, § 27; 2015, No. 57, § 59, eff. June 11, 2015; 2015, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 3a, eff. July 1, 2017; 2015, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § H.5, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.)