Assessor’s Office

Equalization Analysis 2017/2018 for tax year 2018/2019-reassessment for tax equalization purposes

Dear property owner,

Over the past eleven years, the overall market value for real estate has changed, from the property values set for 2006, as a result of the last city wide reappraisal. Demand for Burlington property has resulted in most property values increasing since 2006.  Similar to most real estate markets, market value change has not been uniform among all property types or locations. As a result, property taxation inequities have evolved over the past eleven years since the completion of the city wide reappraisal. Each year the Assessor’s Office conducts statistical studies to determine the overall level of appraisal (LOA) of all properties and the LOA of each class of property in an effort to better understand the fairness of the property tax burden. Regarding Vermont law, the goal is to have fair property appraised values so that the tax burden is spread evenly among all taxable properties. The study can be downloaded by clicking the link at the bottom of this letter.

Part of the process of these statistical studies involves annual market sales reviews. Each year, the City Assessor’s office and the State Tax Department measure the level of appraisal (LOA) - the relationship of current market sales to the appraised values. As of this writing, the determined overall LOA in Burlington is 80%.

If every taxable property was within 5% of the 80% LOA, then the tax burden would be evenly distributed. Most properties are appraised within 10% of the LOA. This is an indication of a fair distribution of the tax burden.

The City Assessors office wants fair appraised values for all taxpayers. The equalization analysis study helps us understand the equities and inequities in assessments. The LOA’s for major categories of properties are compared to the overall LOA. If the category LOA is outside of 15% of the overall LOA, then that category is deemed to be inequitable and a plan for correction is needed.

The same analysis is conducted for the established assessment districts. This will indicate areas of town which have fair or unfair appraised valuations.