Title 32: Taxation and Finance
Chapter 125: EXEMPTIONS
Sub-Chapter 001: Exemptions
32 V.S.A. § 3802. Property tax
§ 3802. Property tax
The following property shall be exempt from taxation:
(1) Real and personal estate owned by this State, except as otherwise provided, real and personal estate owned by the United States, United States' securities which are specially exempt from taxation by the laws of the United States at the time of making the list; except that this subsection shall not prohibit a federal agency from making payments for taxes on repossessed or voluntarily conveyed single family, multifamily living units or farm properties.
(2) Real and personal property owned by a post of any veterans' organization chartered by act of Congress of the United States or owned by a corporation the members or stockholders of which are members of such post or its auxiliary, provided such real estate is used for purposes of the post or its auxiliary or such corporation only, is used as the principal meeting place of such post or its auxiliary in the exercise of its functions and activities, and is not leased or rented for profit; and real and personal property owned by and used for the purpose of its work by a nonprofit organization chartered by act of the Congress of the United States, such as a Red Cross, boy scout, girl scout, or boy or girl organization.
(3) Personal estate owned by inhabitants of this State situated and taxed in another state.
(4) Real and personal estate granted, sequestered or used for public, pious or charitable uses; real property owned by churches or church societies or conferences and used as parsonages and personal property therein used by ministers engaged in full time work in the care of the churches of their fellowship within the State; real and personal estate set apart for library uses and used by the public and private circulating libraries, open to the public and not used for profit; lands leased by towns or town school districts for educational purposes; and lands owned or leased by colleges, academies, or other public schools or leased by towns for the support of the gospel; and lands and buildings owned and used by towns for the support of the poor therein; but private buildings on such lands shall be set in the list to the owners thereof, and shall not be exempt. The exemption of lands owned or leased by colleges, academies, or other public schools, shall not apply to lands or buildings rented for general commercial purposes, nor to farming or timberlands owned or leased thereby; but this provision shall not affect the exemption of so-called school or college lands, sequestered to such use prior to January 28, 1911.
(5) Real and personal property held by and for the benefit of college fraternities and societies and corporations owning such property, but this exemption shall not apply to property held for investment purposes. The exemption from taxation of real and personal property held by and for the benefit of college fraternities and societies and corporations owning such property shall not be construed as exempting lands, buildings, or property other than a fraternity or society house, the land occupied thereby, the land adjacent thereto and used as a lawn, playground, or garden, and the household furniture, and equipment in actual use in such fraternity or society house.
(6) Buildings, land, and personal property owned and occupied by a Young Men's Christian Association or a Young Women's Christian Association for the purposes of its work, the income of which is entirely used for such purposes.
(7) Lands used for cemetery purposes and the structures thereon, trust funds and other property belonging to or held by cemetery associations, and the lots of the proprietors thereof.
(8) Household furniture and equipment of every person not regularly used as income producing property; household provisions; personal wearing apparel and ornament; private and professional libraries; shrubs and plants located in a commercial greenhouse or nursery; fowl; sheep; cattle; horses; goats; swine; bees; hay and produce sufficient to winter out the stock; tractors and other machinery of a farmer, not used for hire or contract purposes; real and personal farm property constructed and used for the storage of manure and designed to avoid water pollution; tools and implements of a mechanic or farmer; aircraft, automobiles, and motor vehicles, but not including trailer coaches; and motorized highway-building equipment and road-making appliances as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4(19) and (31) required to be registered as motor vehicles.
(9) Grounds and property owned and occupied by agricultural societies so long as the same are used annually for agricultural fairs.
Subdivision (11)(A) shall apply to claims for exemptions made after January 1, 2012.
(11)(A) Real and personal property to the extent of $10,000.00 of appraisal value, except any part used for business or rental, occupied as the established residence of and owned in fee simple by a veteran, his or her spouse, widow, widower, or child, or jointly by any combination of them, if one or more of them are receiving disability compensation for at least 50 percent disability, death compensation, dependence and indemnity compensation, or pension for disability paid through any military department or the Veterans Administration if, before May 1 of each year, there is filed with the Office of Veterans Affairs:
(i) a written application therefor; and
(ii) a written statement from the Military Department or the Veterans Administration showing that the compensation or pension is being paid. Only one exemption may be allowed on a property. Application for an exemption under this section based upon permanent disability is only required to be filed with the Office of Veterans Affairs before May 1 of the first year for which the exemption is sought, and the exemption shall remain on the grand list until title to the property is transferred.
(B) The terms used in this subdivision shall have the same definitions as in 38 U.S.C. § 101, except that:
(i) the definitions shall apply as if federal law recognized a civil union or a civil marriage in the same manner as Vermont law;
(ii) such definitions shall not be construed to deny eligibility for exemption in the case where such exemption is based on retirement for disability and retirement pay is received from a federal agency other than the Veterans Administration; and
(iii) the age and marital status limits in 38 U.S.C. § 101(4)(A) shall not apply.
(C) An unremarried widow or widower of a previously qualified veteran shall be entitled to the exemption provided in this subdivision whether or not he or she is receiving government compensation or pension. By majority vote of those present and voting at an annual or special meeting warned for the purpose, a town may increase the veterans' exemption under this subsection to up to $40,000.00 of appraisal value. Any increase in exemption shall take effect for the taxable year for which it was voted, and shall remain in effect for future taxable years until amended or repealed by a similar vote.
(12) Real and personal property exclusively installed and operated for the abatement of pollution of the waters of the State of Vermont or waters within the purview of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Compact in accordance with engineering principles approved by the Vermont Water Resources Board. This type of property shall be exempt as long as its operation meets with the approval of the Secretary of Natural Resources.
(13), (14) [Repealed.]
(15) Real and personal property owned by a charitable, nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals, including any premises of a custodian or caretaker which is attached to or is located on the grounds of such an animal shelter.
(16) Real and personal property owned by a federally qualified health center or a free standing, federally designated rural health clinic, provided such center or clinic is governed by a community board of directors; offers care on a sliding scale based on ability to pay; is owned and operated on a nonprofit basis; is unconditionally dedicated to public use which directly benefits an indefinite class of the public and confers a benefit on society. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, this exemption shall apply without the need for a vote of the town or municipality in which such property is located.
Subdivision (17) repealed effective January 1, 2023; see note set out below.
(17) Real and personal property composing a renewable energy plant generating electricity from solar power, to the extent the plant is exempt from taxation under chapter 215 of this title.
Subdivision (18) effective January 1, 2014.
(18) Any parcel of land that provides public access to public waters, as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 1422(6), and that is also:
(A) owned by the Town of Hardwick, and located in Greensboro, Vermont; or
(B) owned by the Town of Thetford, and located in Fairlee, Vermont, and West Fairlee, Vermont. (Amended 1959, No. 62, eff. March 26, 1959; 1961, No. 216, §§ 1, 2, eff. July 13, 1961; 1962, No. 3 (Sp. Sess.), § 1, eff. Aug. 2, 1962; 1963, No. 23, eff. March 28, 1963; 1963, No. 29, eff. April 2, 1963; 1963, No. 30, eff. April 2, 1963; 1963, No. 147; 1964, No. 16 (Sp. Sess.); 1965, No. 33, eff. April 20, 1965; 1966, No. 21 (Sp. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 3, 1967; 1967, No. 156, eff. April 15, 1967; 1971, No. 28, eff. Jan. 1, 1972; 1973, No. 9, § 1, eff. date, see note set out below; 1973, No. 91, eff. for the tax year beginning April 1, 1974 and thereafter; 1975, No. 101, § 3, eff. April 30, 1975; 1975, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.); 1977, No. 16, § 2, eff. March 22, 1977; 1977, No. 71, § 1, eff. date April 23, 1977 (first be effective for property taxes assessed for the year 1977); 1977, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.); 1977, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.); 1981, No. 70, eff. May 1, 1981; 1981, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 1987, No. 76, § 18; 1987, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 13, 1988; 1989, No. 26; 1991, No. 43; 1991, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 203 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 27, 1992; 1993, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 26, 1994; 1995, No. 3, § 1, eff. March 9, 1995; 1995, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 49, § 44, eff. June 2, 1999; 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; 2005, No. 38, § 28; 2005, No. 207 (Adj. Sess.), § 25, eff. May 31, 2006; 2007, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 23, eff. June 6, 2008; 2009, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § H.28, eff. June 2, 2009; 2011, No. 45, § 13g, eff. May 24, 2011; 2011, No. 111 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 8, 2012; 2011, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2013; 2013, No. 73, § 27, eff. June 5, 2013; 2013, No. 73, § 28, eff. Jan. 1, 2014.)