(802) 479-2420 panthony@leg.state.vt.us

Vermonters all know how much the real estate market has fluctuated in recent years — it’s fair to say the rise in property values has been historic. The Committee on Ways & Means has spent the first few months of this legislative session looking at a wide range of ways to bring this system into alignment. The committee heard testimony on innovative solutions including: moving away from funding education with property taxes, and moving to a consistent statewide system for property appraisals. The intent of a more consistent system is to avoid large changes in values that catch property owners by surprise, and to relieve pressure on municipalities to manage appraisals with limited resources. The committee is also looking at ways to re-categorize non-homestead property values to get a better sense of how these properties are used. Currently the non-homestead property category includes everything from second homes to businesses to industrial use.I have been on Ways and Means for two Bienniums.

WAYS And MEANS  Additional Workload: Fees.

Resetting fees for a myriad of state services (DMV,  Forest & Parks) is an ongoing part of W & M work.  As well we monitor revenues from existing fees dedicated to support a specific state function:  E.g. E-911.  The emergency dispatch system technology had historically received monies from a charge on phone service. As you know traditional phone use for voice (but not data) has fallen drastically.  So has this support of E-911. We are contemplating alternate sources to fund this crucial safety communication link.