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Statement from Governor Phil Scott on Potential Property Tax Increases

November 30, 2023

Berlin, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott today said the forecasted average increase of almost 20% in property tax bills is “not acceptable” and issued the following statement:

“Vermont’s tax burden is already, unfortunately, among the highest in the country, and families are bearing an incredible burden with increased costs of living across the board, including new and higher taxes and fees imposed by the Legislature. Put simply, a nearly 20% property tax increase would hurt Vermonters and our economy, and we cannot let it happen.

“At a time when housing costs and interest rates are elevated, higher property taxes will make our housing and workforce crises worse, and I sincerely hope the Legislature agrees.

“For years, I have warned that Vermont is unaffordable for too many families and small businesses. This is why for seven years I focused on holding the line on higher taxes and fees, while offering solutions to reduce the tax burden on Vermonters. And for six out of the seven years, we were successful in preventing new taxes and fees. 

“We should all agree it is time for us to take our affordability crisis seriously.

“We have proven when we work together, we can make historic and impactful investments that produce positive results for our communities, without adding more financial burdens on residents. We can do that again, but it will require more than better budgeting in Montpelier. School boards, who already have a difficult job, will need to do all they can to contain spending to a rate that taxpayers can afford.

“Together, we can, and must, prevent this untenable tax increase, or anything close to it, from coming to pass.”