- Full-time fire and ambulance service based in downtown Montpelier. Dispatch records show an average ambulance response time of 4 minutes in Montpelier compared to 8.5 minutes in the combined towns.
- Full-time police service based in downtown Montpelier. Officers are on patrol 24 hours per day, seven days per week. In communities served by State Police, one trooper may be covering many towns at once and response can be delayed, often by days.
- Full-time dispatching service — Emergency calls are answered in and dispatched from the Montpelier police station by people familiar with both the community and the local police, fire, and ambulance operations.
- Paved and quickly plowed roads — 96% of Montpelier’s roads are paved compared with 20% in neighboring towns. Gravel roads can mean more dust, “dings” on vehicles, and difficult access during certain seasons (mud) and weather conditions. When you’re in a business rush or personal emergency, can you rely on being able to pass over your road year round? Paved roads are more expensive to maintain, which is a major struggle in Montpelier. Unlike neighboring towns, Montpelier has responsibilities for snow removal in downtown, sidewalk plowing/maintenance, bike path plowing and maintenance, operating street lights and traffic signals, roundabouts, on-street parking, parking lots, and maintaining many bridges.
Montpelier, formerly at the top of Vermont property tax rates, has dropped to No. 16 for municipal rate and No. 35 overall. Montpelier’s overall effective tax rate of $2.46 is only 2.9% higher than the average ($2.39) of our four smaller bordering towns. Barre City’s effective rate of $3.15 is 28% higher than Montpelier. The only accurate method to compare one community’s property taxes to another is to use “effective” tax rates. An Effective Tax Rate is determined once the property values in various communities have been “equalized,” that is, taking into account different community assessment ratios. Let’s compare 2020 effective tax rates and local services within our immediate region; see chart below. Tax information is taken from the 2020 Annual Report of the Vermont Tax Department. The average effective municipal (non-school) tax rate for the 8,887 residents in the surrounding four towns is 61 cents, compared to $1.00 in Montpelier and $1.82 in Barre City. What municipal services do Montpelier residents receive for these extra taxes that people don’t get in the towns?There are also many great things that Montpelier residents support that neighboring town residents benefit from at no cost or greatly disproportionate cost. Hubbard Park and North Branch Park are two prime examples. Others include the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, the Montpelier Senior Activity Center, sidewalks and bike/pedestrian paths, street sweeping, fire prevention efforts, the Montpelier Community Fund, and downtown enhancement and support initiatives. The whole region enjoys events like Independence Day, the Vermont Mountaineers, and other celebrations.