Cost of Living in Vermont (Taxes, Housing & More)
Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State, and it is home to 623,989 happy residents. The Green Mountain State is by no means large, but it makes up for its size with charm and character. There’s a lot that keeps Vermont residents living in the state, but how much does it cost to live there?
Median home values are below the national average in Vermont, but monthly housing costs are well above average. The median home value in Vermont is $223,700, and residents spend an average of $1,594 per month in ownership costs. You can build a house in Vermont for $148 per square foot, or you can opt to rent an apartment for $972 per month.
The homeownership rate is higher in Vermont than the national average, but property taxes are quite high. Your typical Vermont resident spends $4,040 each year in property taxes, and the property tax rate averages 1.83%. Let’s explore the costs that factor into living in Vermont and see what the average resident spends.
Vermont Housing Prices
Vermont has affordable housing costs, but monthly ownership rates are somewhat high compared to the national average. The median home value in Vermont is $223,700, and the vast majority of the state’s residents are homeowners. Over 70% of Vermont residents are homeowners, and they pay an average of $1,594 monthly between bills and the mortgage.
|Housing||Vermont Housing Cost||National Housing Cost|
|Median Home Value||$223,700||$284,600|
|Monthly Ownership Costs||$1,594||$834+|
You can pay vastly different prices for houses in Vermont based on which city or town that you choose. Houses in Poultney, Vermont, for example, have a median home value of $167,609, and that is quite low for Vermont. The most expensive place to live in Vermont is Essex Junction, and the median home value is $283,400.
Buying an existing home in Vermont is not the only option available, and building is a great alternative. You can expect to pay $148 per square foot, on average, to build a house in Vermont. The materials that you choose ultimately dictate how much construction costs will come out to be in Vermont.
Rent Prices In Vermont
Housing costs may be a little too high for many Vermont residents, and luckily, renting is an affordable option. The median gross monthly rent price in Vermont is $972, and it’s much lower than monthly housing costs. Right now, there are 75,784 renters in Vermont, and renters are in the minority in the Green Mountain State.
Renting both houses and apartments can afford you great deals on housing in Vermont. House rentals average $2,025 per month, and that is as much if not more than ownership costs. Renting a 2-bedroom apartment in Vermont is affordable and generally costs $1,038 each month.
Areas such as Essex County in Vermont are pricey and renting an apartment costs $1,275 on average. No matter which city you choose in Vermont, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms increase the cost of rent. The lowest average monthly cost of rent in Vermont can be found in Poultney, and it averages $675 per month.
Cost of Utilities In Vermont
Utility bills don’t stop coming, and they must figure into your monthly budget in Vermont. Luckily, utilities cost below the national average, and that includes essentials such as electrical and gas bills. Electrical bills are often $99 per month, or less, in Vermont,
In New England, utility bills are generally much higher than in the rest of the United States. However, that fact does not necessarily apply to Vermont, which has utility bills that are $13 below New England’s average. You could spend as much as $160 per month for gas, electrical, and water combined in Vermont.
Careful use of energy and resources can help keep your utility bills low and affordable in Vermont. Cable television plans cost between $25 and $70 per month in Vermont, and most residents utilize it. Look for good deals on internet plans, and you can pay as little as $35 every month in Vermont.
Tax Rates In Vermont
Vermont is a high tax state, and residents use just over 10% of their income to put towards taxes. That includes sales, property, and income tax, and that adds up quickly. Your typical Vermont resident spends more per year in taxes than the national average in America.
Let’s take a look at the tax rates that Vermont residents are subject to, and how much it will cost you.
Vermont State Income Tax
Income taxes can get quite expensive for the highest tax bracket in Vermont. The minimum state income tax rate for Vermont residents is 3.35%, and the highest rate is 8.75%. To put that in perspective, North Carolina’s highest income tax rate is 5.25%, and Colorado’s is only 4.63%.
Luckily, there are several state income tax deductions available for Vermont residents. If you live in Vermont, it is important to know what you can claim and save on income tax rates.
|Vermont State Income Tax Deductions||Deduction Amount|
|Head of Household Deduction||$9,200|
|Married Filing Jointly||$12,300|
|Married Separate Filing||$6,150|
|Blind & 65 or Older||$1,000|
While Vermont is a great place to retire due to the laid back environment, your retirement income is still taxable. You are still subject to the 3.35%-8.75% state income tax in Vermont if you collect Social Security and pension.
Vermont Sales Tax Rate
The statewide sales tax rate in Vermont is 6%, and that applies to most purchases. Alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline have different tax rates beyond the sales tax rate. When you pay for gas at the pump, you will pay an additional $0.31 for every gallon of gasoline in Vermont.
Vermont sales tax rates vary between municipalities, but it cannot exceed 7%, which is the rate in Colchester and Middlebury. Besides those two cities and Burlington, Vermont, most municipalities in Vermont stick to the 6% sales tax rate.
|Vermont Taxes||Tax Rate & Cost|
|State Income Tax||3.35%-8.75%|
|Gasoline Tax||$0.31 Per Gallon|
Alcohol sales do not carry the same sales tax rate as other goods do in Vermont. Instead, Vermont residents pay a 10% alcohol tax rate on the purchase of wine, beer, and spirits. Tobacco sales also are taxed, and you will pay $4.74 per ounce of tobacco in the Green Mountain State.
Property Tax Rate Vermont
Property taxes are generally higher than the national average in Vermont, and the average rate is 1.83%. That property tax rate is compiled from the 14 counties within Vermont that each carry their own rate. Your average Vermont resident spends $4,040 per year in property taxes, but people as little as $1,070 per year.
Essex County boasts the lowest property tax rate in Vermont, and it is 1.39% of assessed home value. Each county in Vermont has a different property tax rate, and the state depends heavily on property tax income. Right now, over 43% of Vermont’s total revenue is generated by property taxes, and that explains the high rate.
|Vermont County||Property Tax Rate||Average Yearly Payment|
As you can see, your average Vermont resident spends a lot each year on property tax payments. There are property tax exemptions available in Vermont, but not every resident qualifies for it. Disabled veterans, public property, and charitable properties are all subject to property tax exemptions in Vermont.
Education Costs In Vermont
Education is an expense that pops up for parents and college-age residents in Vermont. Luckily for parents in Vermont, there are currently 250 public schools available. If you choose to send your children to public school in Vermont, be aware of the $22,067 per year average.
Private tuition for elementary school students costs an average of $10,141 per year, and as little as $1,800. Tuition costs get much higher when it comes to high school in Vermont, and it averages $31,154 each year. Right now, there are 130 private schools to choose from in Vermont, and they all vary in cost.
|Vermont Education||Average Tuition Cost|
|Average Private School Tuition||$22,067|
|Private Elementary Tuition||$10,141|
|Private High School Tuition||$31,154|
|University of Vermont||$18,802 (Residents) $43,690 (Non-Residents)|
|Castleton University||$12,470 (Residents) $29,150 (Non-Residents)|
Vermont is also home to many prestigious colleges, and they are much cheaper for state residents. The University of Vermont costs $18,802 for state residents, and it costs $24,888 more for out of state tuition. An even cheaper college for in-state Vermont students is Castleton University, and it costs $12,470 for in-state tuition.
Transportation Costs In Vermont
No matter where you live, a large chunk of your budget will go towards transportation costs. Vermont is no exception and driving costs can get pretty expensive. Luckily, however, public transportation is a viable option for many cities in Vermont.
Vermont Public Transportation
Public transportation is available, and it can save money for daily commuters. Buses are available in many Vermont cities, and interstate bus travel is also available. Amtrak does exist in Vermont, but it is a once a day service and is not as elaborate as other states.
Chittenden County provides some of the best public transportation in Vermont, and many residents ride the bus. Single ride bus passes cost between $0.75 and $1.50 per person in Chittenden County. If you plan to ride the bus often, you can spend between $20 and $40 for monthly bus passes in Chittenden, Vermont.
|Chittenden County Public Transit||Average Cost|
|Single Ride Bus Fare||$0.75-$1.75|
|10 Ride Bus Pass||$7.50-$15.00|
|Monthly Bus Pass||$20.00-$40.00|
There are many cities in Vermont, and 17 of them have train service. Unfortunately, train tickets are quite expensive in Vermont, and they average $85 per person throughout the state. You can also access Vermont via Amtrak from both New York City and Washington D.C.
Driving Costs In Vermont
Gas prices vary widely throughout the year in Vermont, and market value has a lot to with that. The average in January was $2.57 per gallon, and the average in November plummeted to $2.07 per gallon. At the current price of gasoline in Vermont, you could spend up to $1,357 per year if you drive daily.
Luckily, insuring your car in Vermont costs 25% less than the national average in America. The average cost of car insurance in Vermont is $1,156 per year in premiums, and but there are variables. Some cities have more uninsured drivers than others, and that can increase insurance premiums no matter what state it is.
Full car insurance coverage often comes with higher premiums and can cost between $1,174 and $2,992 on the low end. In Vermont, getting a car accident can add $228- $1,306 to your car insurance premiums, and continual accidents add up. If you are a parent in Vermont, you will pay close to the $5,078 average premium for teen drivers.
Entertainment Costs In Vermont
A lot of the fun things to do in Vermont are centered around the history and natural wonders in the state. Head to Norwich, Vermont and visit the Montshire Museum of Science for between $13 and $16 per person. Another popular destination is the Bennington Museum, and it costs $10 for adults, and $9 for senior citizens.
|Vermont Entertainment||Average Cost|
|Movie Theater Ticket||$8-$12|
|Bennington Museum||$9 (Seniors) $10 (Adults) Free (Children)|
|Montshire Museum of Science||$13 (Children) $16 (Adults)|
Free entertainment is abundant in Vermont, and one fine example is the Eagle Point Wildlife Management Area in Derby, Vermont. There are 21 total state parks in Vermont, and the Half Moon Pond State Park is one of the most popular. Pack up your car and take a trip to the Camp Plymouth State Park where you can enjoy free fun.
Cheapest Place To Live In Vermont: Poultney
- Median Home Value: $167,609
- Average Monthly Rent: $675
- Median Household Income: $45,500
- Population: 3,922
Poultney is the cheapest place to live in Vermont, and it hits every mark for the low cost of living. The median home value is $167,609, and the property tax rate is 3.23% of the assessed value on residences. Property taxes are somewhat high in Rutland County, where Poultney is located, but low housing costs make up for it.
Rent costs are over 65% below the national average in Poultney, VT, and generally costs $675 per month. Only 32% of Poultney, Vermont residents are renters, but the low cost makes it a perfect alternative to homeowning. You can find roomy 2 bedroom apartments with plenty of space in Poultney for $950 or less per month.
Yearly costs in Poultney, Vermont, include the average $1,264 per year in property tax payments. Another reoccurring cost in Poultney is the 6% sales tax rate, and that’s below the national average in America. You can find gasoline for as low as $1.96 per gallon, and as much as $2.15 per year in Poultney.
Is Vermont a safe place to live?
Yes, Vermont is a safe place to live, and it is actually currently one of the safest states in America. In fact, only a few years ago, the city of Castleton, Vermont didn’t have a single crime occur. Only 1 in 582 Vermont residents suffer a violent crime, and 1 in 78 experience property crime.
What is the weather like in Vermont year-round?
During the spring and summer, you will experience extreme humidity and generally high temperatures. It cools down significantly in the winter in Vermont, and ice, rain, and snow are quite common. The hottest month of the year in Vermont is July, when it averages 81°, and the coldest is January with a low of 9°.
What is the safest place to live in Vermont?
Castleton and Essex Junction are the safest places to live in Vermont. Essex Junction only experiences 14 crimes for every 1,000 residents in the city. Castleton is virtually crimeless, and the last 3 years have seen less than 40 total crimes.
Summing It Up
You can live cheaply in Vermont, but certain costs of living are above the national average. Vermont is known as a high tax state, and residents pay a state income tax rate between 3.35% and 8.75%. Sales tax rates are close to the average, and 6% is the standard, but cities can raise it by 1%.
The median home value in Vermont is $223,700, and over 70% of the state’s residents are homeowners. You can rent an apartment for $972 per month, on average, and you can rent a house for $2,025 per month. Luckily, driving costs are low in Vermont, and premiums cost an average of $1,156 per year.
All in all, Vermont is a charming, laid back, and affordable state to live in. Consider moving to Poultney, Vermont, if you want to get the most bang for your buck. If you are thinking about making the move to Vermont, go ahead and do it, and you won’t soon regret your choice.
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
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