Chittenden tax hike concerns local officialsBy Cristina Kumka
STAFF WRITER | September 15,2012CHITTENDEN — Rising local property taxes have the town’s Republican state representative concerned about the number of emails he is getting from outraged residents.
Residential property tax bills in Chittenden have gone up an average $500 or more, depending on the home value, because the town has fewer elementary school children and the same school expenses, according to town officials.
The residential homestead rate went up 18 percent from last year, from $1.16 to $1.37, according to the final rate information sent from the state to the town office in July.
The first tax bills were due Sept. 4.
The education tax bill on the home of Rep. Jim Eckhardt, R-Chittenden, went up $1,000.
He said one woman yelled at him, saying her children just bought a house in town, didn’t expect the tax hike and were concerned that they might not be able to stay.
“How on earth can people afford to stay here?” Eckhardt said in an interview.
Town Clerk Roberta Janoski said “people were not happy” when they got their bills.
Jeff Spaulding, chairman of the Barstow Memorial School Board, attributed the tax increase to fewer students from Chittenden at the school — from 246 down to 237 — combined with not being able to cut expenses proportionately.
“We have been laying off teachers, both this year and last year as our student count has fallen, but not enough to keep per-pupil spending increases at the level of the cost-of-living increases (for teachers),” Spaulding wrote in an email to Eckhardt this month.
Not to mention, according to Spaulding, that the state increased the statewide base tax rate by 2 cents, automatically increasing the town’s rate by that much.
Eckhardt said it was his understanding that the contractual increases in staff salaries each year is outpacing what the School Board can safely cut.
“Is there really any way to control, on a local and statewide level, the cost of education in Vermont?” Eckhardt asked. “If indeed they did lay off teachers, then how do you control the cost of education?”
Eckhardt said state government needs to start getting more business to Vermont and curb property taxes, considering the drop in student population.
“How in Vermont are we going to keep up?” Eckhardt asked.
email@example.comMORE IN Local & StateBENNINGTON — Robert “Bob” Matteson, who called himself the “Geezer Gazelle” after becoming an... Full StoryMONTPELIER — The historic barrage of snow and cold that struck New England this winter has pushed... Full StoryBERLIN — Children who aspire to be the next Bobby Fischer — or who enjoy the intellectual... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.