Montpelier, Vermont: The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled that information used by towns to calculate adjustments to residents' property taxes should remain private.
The Bennington County Superior Court ruled that the town of Manchester had to provide the tax information in a situation where someone would be requesting it, however, the Vermont Supreme Court reversed this ruling.
The issue that is at hand involves many aspects, mostly involving the amount that Vermont property taxpayers have deducted from their bills. This amount is based on a Vermont property taxpayer's income, school property tax burden, as well as if the taxpayer has used the option of using a portion of their tax refund in order to reduce the amount of their property taxes. It is the job of the state Department of Taxes to calculate this amount, and have it sent to the towns in order to reduce property owners' taxes.
The Vermont Supreme Court ruling stated that the law governing these deductions is covered by the state of Vermont's privacy laws, but property tax bills are to remain public.