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Old 03-23-2013, 01:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Why_Am_I_Here View Post
Property taxes very high (3 bed 2 bath house could be any where from 3000-5000+)
I assumed property taxes were higher in Vermont since so many Vermonters say it's high. A 3 bed 2 bath house in my metro can have property taxes ranging from 6k to 16k a year depending on the school district. Maybe your schools aren't paid via property taxes. We pay county and school via property taxes here. Most of our local governments are paid via a flat 1% earned income tax. Our state earned income tax is a flat 3.07%. Sales tax is 6%, but food and clothing is exempt. There is no personal property. I'm just sharing all of this additional information so you can try to compare why your "high" property taxes are so much lower than property taxes where I live.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I assumed property taxes were higher in Vermont since so many Vermonters say it's high. A 3 bed 2 bath house in my metro can have property taxes ranging from 6k to 16k a year depending on the school district. Maybe your schools aren't paid via property taxes. We pay county and school via property taxes here. Most of our local governments are paid via a flat 1% earned income tax. Our state earned income tax is a flat 3.07%. Sales tax is 6%, but food and clothing is exempt. There is no personal property. I'm just sharing all of this additional information so you can try to compare why your "high" property taxes are so much lower than property taxes where I live.
You have to compare Values, not bedrooms and bathrooms. In areas of Burlington, you can get a small ranch, 3 BR 2 bath, and pay under $3,000 in property taxes. My 2 BR 2.5 bath townhouse has $6300 a year in taxes. Valuation is the name of the game.

If I had kids in school, I wouldn't send them here. Our state income tax is higher than that, sales tax is higher here in Burlington, so is meals and rooms tax. Property prices higher in general as well as gas prices, etc..
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:02 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,398,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Thinker View Post
You have to compare Values, not bedrooms and bathrooms. In areas of Burlington, you can get a small ranch, 3 BR 2 bath, and pay under $3,000 in property taxes. My 2 BR 2.5 bath townhouse has $6300 a year in taxes. Valuation is the name of the game.

If I had kids in school, I wouldn't send them here. Our state income tax is higher than that, sales tax is higher here in Burlington, so is meals and rooms tax. Property prices higher in general as well as gas prices, etc..
I'm aware it's values not bedrooms and bathrooms, but I was responding to someone who posted in bedrooms and bathroom terms.

What I bolded is relevant. That's what doesn't add up. Our property prices are very low. It's one of the reasons we have a low cost of living in my area. But our property taxes are much higher than what has been shared by Vermonters in this thread.

What do you mean by not sending your kids to school here? Do Vermonters only pay school taxes if they have children in public school? That doesn't make sense since public schools are supposed to provide free education. Or do you have a voucher system instead? Either way, you're paying school taxes regardless of where the kids go to school. Are Vermont's school taxes collected via income tax or property tax?

I found this: Vermont Real Estate Taxes Explained

So it seems school taxes are paid mostly via property taxes. That means that your property taxes aren't very high compared to where I live. That article has lists of all the tax rates for all towns in Vermont, and none are anywhere near what we pay in my region.

Here's my township's millage rates:

County: 5.6900
Municipality: 2.5045
School District: 21.3500
TOTAL: 29.5445

It seems that we pay way higher property tax rate than Vermonters. When I always hear Vermonters say property taxes are high, I assumed they were super high. If you're only paying 6k, that's not high property taxes in my neck of the woods.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
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Property prices are low in Vermont as well, but then again jobs are scarce and the ones you do find pay very poorly.

Another thing to consider is what you get for your property taxes. People who move up here from southern New England always seem to be shocked that dealing with garbage is a problem. There is no such thing as municipal waste service; either you buy "dump tickets" from the town and haul your own garbage to the transfer station or you pay a private company.

I know Pittsburgh has seen better times (like Vermont) but I would not have picked Pittsburgh as a location with unusually high tax rates. Unless of course Pittsburgh has assessed values that actually match the market values. What we are seeing in Vermont is that houses which are assessed for $150-$200 k might have yearly property taxes of $3000-$4000. So God is in his heaven and all is right with the world, right? But then when you go to sell one of those houses you find that you can't even get $60k for a house assessed at $150k. Sooner or later the values will get adjusted, either through a grievance process or when the sale at the much lower price actually goes through. We all know the town is not going to let a little thing like re-assessment cut their budget by 2/3. So the only solution is to modify the tax rate.

Maybe the reason Vermonters see the property taxes as high is that the taxes are high relative to the market value? Plus we keep seeing people from other states who look at property taxes here and see them as high compared to where they are. Unless of course they are comparing with neighboring NH, which has some pockets with really high property taxes.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:43 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,398,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalYankee View Post
Another thing to consider is what you get for your property taxes. People who move up here from southern New England always seem to be shocked that dealing with garbage is a problem. There is no such thing as municipal waste service; either you buy "dump tickets" from the town and haul your own garbage to the transfer station or you pay a private company.
I was surprised by the "garbage problem" when I learned about it this past winter. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalYankee View Post
I know Pittsburgh has seen better times (like Vermont) but I would not have picked Pittsburgh as a location with unusually high tax rates.
Actually, Pittsburgh's tough times were a generation ago. Pittsburgh has one of the best economies in the country today. The property taxes are high because of our school system is among the best in the country. Even with high property taxes, our cost of living is still among the lowest in the country. We have a very stable housing market. It slightly increases throughout the decades, no booms and busts. I have looked at property in Vermont, and I feel our property values are lower. Even with high property taxes, or cost of living is still crazy low. Every time Pittsburgh is touted in the media as THE PLACE TO LIVE, I get fearful a rush of people will move here and our housing prices will increase and we'll lose our low cost of living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalYankee View Post
Unless of course Pittsburgh has assessed values that actually match the market values. What we are seeing in Vermont is that houses which are assessed for $150-$200 k might have yearly property taxes of $3000-$4000. So God is in his heaven and all is right with the world, right? But then when you go to sell one of those houses you find that you can't even get $60k for a house assessed at $150k. Sooner or later the values will get adjusted, either through a grievance process or when the sale at the much lower price actually goes through. We all know the town is not going to let a little thing like re-assessment cut their budget by 2/3. So the only solution is to modify the tax rate.
Our assessments used to be lower than the actual value. About 10 years ago, we did county wide re-assessments that brought them up to value. We just finished with the second reassessment. Millage is lowered to adjust for the increase in assessment value. We have a nearby county that is like Vermont in adjusting the millage but it's the opposite directly. That county is going by 1939 assessment value so it raises the millage. The state and courts are forcing that county to do reassessments. When they do, it's likely that property taxes will increase unless the county doesn't appropriate lower the millage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalYankee View Post
Plus we keep seeing people from other states who look at property taxes here and see them as high compared to where they are.
We get that too. Usually they don't bother checking our property taxes. They see our low housing prices and go crazy buying bigger houses than they had in their previous state. Then they're not able to take advantage of our lower cost of living because they are paying high property taxes. If they bought the same size house they owned in their previous state, they would have saved half a million dollars for the purchase, and also saved having to pay the higher taxes on that higher purchase price.

We get complaints from people who came from high cost of living areas with high housing values, and we get complaints from people who come from states with terrible school systems. It's funny too because one of their questions when asking for suggestions on where to live is good schools. Our average schools are better than their states best schools.

Thanks for sharing. It's always interesting to learn about how things are done elsewhere.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:28 AM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,724,887 times
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As I recall, VT did re-assessments in about 2007, which would have been just before values dropped. Not that there has been a boom-bust cycle up here. Still we have seen what my realtor calls a market correction. Selling prices are about what they were in 2001-2002, which is supposedly 25 % lower than peak.

I have not been able to figure out how exactly schools are funded in VT. It isn't as simple as being funded from property taxes. And many people do not even pay full proeprty taxes owing to relief programs. Too complicated for me anyway. Like most things involving taxes, by the time you get to the bottom of possible relief programs and equalizing mechanisms, it gets murky figuring out where the funding is coming from. There is an explanation in this article which I still don't get.
Report: Education financing system is equitable, declining student enrollments are driving up costs
Maybe one of our regulars can explain it in a way that makes sense to me.

Cost of living is notoriously high in VT in large part thanks to high heating and utility costs. Plus groceries and goods are expensive. Somehow a gallon of milk is $1 more expensive in VT than in NH. And VT is a dairy state. Go figure.

Finally, VT has consistently high per pupil expenditures compared to other states in the US. And unfortunately without much to show for it in terms of results.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:06 PM
 
12 posts, read 15,091 times
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Default a little bit scared now

I have read this entire thread and others on this forum and I just have to say - Ya'll are scaring me! I have lived in FL all my life (47 years). I love the beach, wearing flip-flops year round and the ocean breeze. I do not love the mosquitoes, alligators and humidity. I will be moving to the Rutland area sometime next year. Most likely April-June. I have job in hand so I don't have to find employment. I have a 2002 Subaru Forester. I've been told that is a good car to have in Vermont. It will be the only car my husband and I have so I'd like to rent a place that is walk-able, clean and safe. I have two small dogs (dachshunds). I am trying to do my due diligence as we prepare for this move. So I'm here to ask questions and hopefully not get more scared. Please excuse some of these questions as they may seem silly to a native or long time VT resident.

Most rentals I've seen online (realtor websites, craigslist, Rutland Herald) say no pets. Is that common practice in Vermont?
Also I don't find many rental listings. What is the best way to search for a rental?
Speaking of pets, how do you walk them in the winter? Seems like their feet would freeze. And my little ones are so low to the ground their bellies would freeze too.
I currently pay 795 for a 1 bedroom 570sf condo. It is a nice place. The rent includes water/sewer/trash and basic cable. We aren't tv watchers so that isn't a big deal to us. It does have a washer & dryer in the unit. How does this compare to prices in the Rutland area?
Will I need snow tires?
Is there public transit? I saw there is an Amtrak station.
Can you really only get your place warmed up to 65 degrees in the winter?
What is mud season?
Do most places really close at 9pm?

I have many questions but won't throw them all out there at one time. Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,914 posts, read 54,257,015 times
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Most rentals I've seen online (realtor websites, craigslist, Rutland Herald) say no pets. Is that common practice in Vermont?

Yes, although your dogs may not be the problem that larger breeds are.

Also I don't find many rental listings. What is the best way to search for a rental?

Honestly, word of mouth and people vouching for you. Start by asking the employer to ask around.

Speaking of pets, how do you walk them in the winter? Seems like their feet would freeze. And my little ones are so low to the ground their bellies would freeze too.

They'll let you know when they want in. Cold days it'll be out and poo, three minutes later inside.

I currently pay 795 for a 1 bedroom 570sf condo. It is a nice place. The rent includes water/sewer/trash and basic cable. We aren't tv watchers so that isn't a big deal to us. It does have a washer & dryer in the unit. How does this compare to prices in the Rutland area?

570 sf is pretty small. You may be fine in Rutland, but verify the neighborhood. Also, Rutland has a lot of OLD apartments as well.

Will I need snow tires?

Always best to have them. Cheaper than a crash. Learn to drive on snow in an empty parking lot.

Is there public transit? I saw there is an Amtrak station.

Forget that.

Can you really only get your place warmed up to 65 degrees in the winter?

My brother keeps his house at 55. It is all in what you get used to. If you have hypothroidism, get it taken care of first.
Lower temps means slightly higher humidity. Coming from Florida, you'll have chapped lips and everything else in winter. If you keep your place at 75, my bet is you'll have more colds.


What is mud season?

Spring, when the frost works out of the ground. If you stay on paved roads, you notice more potholes and bumps. Dirt roads, it depends on the road. Not anywhere near the problem it was in the 1950s and earlier.

Do most places really close at 9pm?

Yes - or earlier. That is one of the depressing parts of the state. Other than a few bars the streets are dark in late evening. In winter, it'll make you want to make a rush trip to NYC just to see some lights and activity. The sky gets DARK.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:54 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply Harry. Excellent idea about learning to drive in snow in an empty parking lot. That is exactly how I learned to drive a stick shift here in FL. I'm more than a bit concerned about finding a rental. The dog issue, word of mouth and having someone vouch for me is going to prove to be difficult. I can't rightfully expect my employer to house hunt for me nor can I afford to fly up multiple times to shop. Hmmm, what to do? Forge ahead and continue to ponder this problem. Now for a few more questions.

Which cell phone provider has the best signal?
What are the options for internet service?
Can you educate me on heating? I've seen places advertised with fuel oil, propane or pellet stove. What are the advantages and estimated cost of each?

I appreciate any input.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,914 posts, read 54,257,015 times
Reputation: 30479
With a rental, heating will be at the mercy of the landlord. You'll need advice from a current Rutland resident on the other questions.
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