It’s the single word property owner’s fear the most.
No, it’s not property taxes.
The single word is revaluation. Revaluation or reassessment is a process for periodically measuring and capturing changes in property values. It’s a process that takes place in every municipality in every state across the country and it is taking place right now in the City of South Burlington.
A higher assessed property value is usually good news for property owners – it means the value of their investment is going up. Many homeowners fear it also means their tax bills are going up and, for some, that could be the case. But does an increase in a property’s assessed value from a revaluation always mean a higher property tax? The answer is no, it does not. Some properties that come out with a higher assessed value will see their taxes remain flat and others may even see a decrease in taxes.
”Wait, how can that be?” you might ask.
Well, there are two important numbers to know in the equation: the total taxable assessed value of property in S Burlington and the total amount required to be collected from property taxes in the annual City/School Budget. The Assessor’s Office determines the value of all real property across the City based on a variety of factors such as age, location, size, improvements and the value of recent nearby sales of a similar type and style. When the city plans its budget for the year, the amount it needs to collect from property taxes (revenues) is based solely on the services it plans to provide (expenditures). No matter how much property values go up or down, the City plans to collect funds via property taxes to do its job for the year. The two processes come together when the City sets their tax rate. Dividing the needs of the budget by the City’s total taxable value is the calculation that determines each property’s share of the cost to run the city that year. When the total City assessed value goes up from a revaluation, the tax rate goes down to compensate. (The last revaluation in 2006 caused the tax rate to drop from $2.8977 to $1.7051). The opposite is true if values decrease. A revaluation in itself does not raise any new revenue or taxes for the City.
Revaluation is a time to not only make sure all property is assessed to its market value, but to make sure assessments are equalized, or spread equitably, among similar property types. Revaluation is also a perfect time to take stock of all City property and to confirm and correct property characteristics, especially those that effect value. This is a part of the project where you can help us the most.
November 2019 will kick off the property inspections phase of the reappraisal and data collectors from Tyler Technology which has been hired to reassess the City of S Burlington will be out in the field.
Around January 2021, property owners will be receiving a new value notice. This starts the process of informal hearings, where every property owner has the full opportunity to review their new value.
Around May 2021, property owners will be receiving official change of appraisal notice. Instructions for how to initiate the appeal process will be included in the notices and circulated citywide. New property values from this current revaluation will be effective for Fiscal Year 2022 that starts July 1, 2021.