The City of Rutland Assessor’s office is required to assess every business’ personal property assets located within the City of Rutland taxing jurisdiction, annually.
Each business in the City is responsible for filling out and returning a Business Personal Property Form on an annual basis. (Forms are mailed annually to every business registered with the City by the end of February, or are available upon request to the Assessor’s office or on the Assessor’s webpage). Filing the Form every year is important because businesses may have acquired new or disposed of existing personal property during the course of the year, or the location and contact information may have changed. The opportunity to receive a correct tax bill is the Business owner’s responsibility, specifically by returning the Form with the information requested, annually.
EVERY BUSINESS operating within the City of Rutland, whether a home-based business or commercial business, must file the Form and pay any tax assessed.
IF THE ASSESSOR IS NOT NOTIFIED of a business that is no longer operating in a timely manner (before April 20th), a tax bill will still be generated based on the best information available to the Assessor, and the tax will still be due for the entire year. Unlike Real Property, State law states that once a Business Personal Property tax bill is assessed, the bill is due for the entire year even if the business goes out of business during the year. Please note that notifying anyone other than the Assessor does not constitute proper notification. (i.e. Treasurer’s office or Clerk’s office, etc.).
If the Form is returned stating “you do not own business personal property,” as defined below, it must be accompanied by: (1) proof the business is no longer operating in the City, (2) the business no longer owns the assets, or (3) the assets used in the business are leased by the business and the tax is paid by the leasing company. PLEASE NOTE: THE ASSESSOR IS ALLOWED BY LAW TO ESTIMATE THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY BASED ON THE BEST INFORMATION AVAILABLE. An estimate is generally based on the prior year’s filing, or a site inspection of the business at the physical location. If the business is operating there should be a tax bill generated.
Business Personal Property is defined in Title 32 VSA § 3618 (c)(1): “Business personal property means tangible personal property of a depreciable nature used or held for use in ANY trade, business, professional practice, transaction, activity or occupation conducted for profit including, without limitation, all furniture and fixtures, apparatus, tools, implements, books, machines, boats, construction devices, and all personal property used or intended to be used for the production, processing, fabrication, assembling, handling or transportation of anything of value, or for the production, transmission, control or disposition of power, energy, heat, light, water or waste….”
EXAMPLES of Business Personal Property include, but are not limited to: Computer software, computers, laptops, operating supplies, machinery & equipment, tools, office furniture, copiers and fax machines, telephones, desks, chairs, shelving, apparatus, restaurant equipment, cameras, printing equipment, exercise equipment, implements, books, file cabinets, etc.
The assessed value of your taxable business property is based on either (1) one half of its original cost, or (2) a depreciated value using Federal Income Tax guidelines which should coincide with your Federal Tax Return. The Assessor has the right to request a copy of Tax Returns. ONCE YOU CHOOSE A METHOD OF ASSESSMENT, YOU CANNOT CHANGE IT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE ASSESSOR.
****Once an item has been fully depreciated on the Federal Income Tax Return, it must be reported at 10% of its original cost. Thereafter, the item will remain at ten (10%) percent of its original cost until the business no longer owns it. No business personal property may be listed at less than 10% of its original cost.****
Please click here for a fillable Business Personal Property Tax form.