Mayor’s Office

Dedicated Revenue for the Housing Trust Fund

Policy Reform Goal

The goal of this reform is to increase and restore the level of dedicated funding to support the creation and preservation of permanently affordable housing through the Housing Trust Fund.

Proposed Reform

In order to achieve this goal, the following charter change is proposed:

  • Establish a specific and dedicated tax for the Housing Trust Fund at 1 cent per $100 of assessed property value.
  • Structure the fund so that, unlike has happened in the past, the fund is not eroded by inflation over time.

Review More Info & Share your Thoughts

Use these quick links to review the proposed reform, find an upcoming meeting, and to share your input on this proposal. Make sure to review the additional information about this proposal below. 

Framing the Burlington Context

  • Since its creation in 1990, the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) has been the city’s largest source of municipal funding for affordable housing, and has contributed nearly $5.9M (of nearly $7.4M in total investment) to support the creation and preservation of 1,686 affordable housing units and 117 beds. These projects have included new multi-family senior housing, adaptive reuse projects, co-ops, transitional housing, and individual residential sites.
  • From its creation until 2006, the HTF was funded at a rate of 1 cent per $100 of assessed property value. From 2006 on, this was reduced to ½ cent per $100 of assessed value. Currently, this generates $200,384 annually. From 2016-2019, Mayor Weinberger and the City Council have contributed additional general funds to the HTF for an annual contribution that reflects the previous one-cent funding level.
  • In addition to the dedicated tax, other revenue sources that contribute to the fund include inclusionary zoning payments in lieu (there have been no contributions from this source since 2011), general fund discretionary contributions (such as those by the Mayor 2016-2019), and Housing Replacement payments (roughly once every 1-2 years).

FAQs about this Policy

What is the estimated impact of this proposal on Housing Trust Fund, and cost to taxpayers?

  • Under this proposal, it is anticipated that the annual funding to the HTF would increase from $200,384 to a projected $494,775 by 2021. The tax impact for the average Burlington homeowner would increase from $12.41 annually today, to $23.00 annually in 2020, to a projected $30.67 by 2021 (see chart below).

 

What about a larger dedicated tax rate?

  • While the City is pursuing this reform, it is also making other policy changes that may result in substantial new revenue streams to the HTF, including new payments from Inclusionary Zoning payments-in-lieu, and by ensuring that certain short-term rentals pay Housing Replacement fees. Housing Replacement fees can range from approximately $8,000 to more than $40,000 depending on the type and size of the unit being displaced.
  • With the anticipated city-wide reappraisal, the revenue from the dedicated tax alone is projected to rise to nearly a half-million dollars by 2021. A dedicated tax rate of $0.01 increases funding while balancing the burden on property tax payers. Starting at this level will allow the City and taxpayers to evaluate, in subsequent years, the actual new revenue collected for the fund and the impact to property owners following the reappraisal.

 

Impact to Taxpayer of Housing Trust Fund Rate of One Penny

 

Assessed Value (median)

Currently Paid to Existing HTF/year  (1/2 penny)

Proposed/year (after penny increase)

Proposed/year (after penny increase) after City-Wide Reassessment*

Single Family

$230,000

$12.42

$23.00

$30.67

Rental Building (3+ units)

$439,100

$23.71

$43.91

$58.55

Commercial Property

$608,000

$32.83

$60.80

$81.07

Annual HTF Contribution

 

$200,384

$371,081

$494,775

*assumes a common level of assessment of 75%

Impact to Taxpayer of Housing Trust Fund Rate of One-Point-Five Pennies

 

Assessed Value (median)

Currently Paid to Existing HTF/year  (1/2 penny)

Proposed/year (after 1 1/2 penny increase)

Proposed/year (after 1 1/2 penny increase) after City-Wide Reassessment*

Single Family

$230,000

$12.42

$34.50

$46.00

Rental Building (3+ units)

$439,100

$23.71

$65.87

$87.82

Commercial Property

$608,000

$32.83

$91.20

$121.60

Annual HTF Contribution

 

$200,384

$556,622

$742,163

*assumes a common level of assessment of 75%