Judge Rules Property Tax Documents Are Public

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(Host) A Superior Court judge says Manchester must release property tax documents even though the town says the records can be used to figure out taxpayers’ incomes.

Vermont’s education funding law allows most taxpayers to limit the amount they pay toward education to a certain percentage of their income.

The state maintains records on individual income. So the state Tax Department sends a document to each town telling clerks how much each taxpayer’s property tax bill should be adjusted.

Manchester refused to release that document because it argued the information would allow someone to calculate an individual’s income, which the town argued was exempt from disclosure.

But Judge John Wesley says the Legislature had an opportunity to declare that material private and declined. So he says Manchester must release it.

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