“Sometimes I live in the Village. Sometimes I live in the Town. Sometimes I have a great notion …”
Frequently asked questions:
Assessor: 802-878-1345 (Property Valuation)
Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD): 802-872-8111 (Recyling)
Essex Police Dept (non-emergency): 802-878-8331
Essex High School: 802-879-7121
Essex Junction Parks & Recreation: 802-878-1375
Essex Town Clerk: 802-879-0413 (Marriage, Birth, Death Certificates)
U.S. Post Office: 802-878-3085(Essex Way), 802-879-7794(Pearl St)
Vermont State Tax Dept: 802-828-2865 (Homestead & Property Tax Adj.)
A: Village residents vote at Essex High School. The General Election is run by the Town Clerk, early/absentee voting can be done at the Town office, 81 Main Street. Requests for absentee ballots can be made by calling 802-879-0413.
A: The Village Office at 2 Lincoln Street is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
A: Attached is a link to a list of Village streets in alphabetical order. If you live on one of these streets and have an Essex Junction mailing address, you live in the Village.
Q: What is the difference between Essex Junction and Essex Town?
A: Essex Junction is an incorporated village within Essex Town.
Q: What does that mean?
A: Many towns and cities have villages or sections of the community that are referred to as villages but most of them are not incorporated villages. In Vermont, an incorporated village is a legal municipality. Incorporated villages have elected governments which have the authority to raise taxes and institute and enforce municipal laws. Under state law, incorporated village governments have all the same rights and responsibilities as town and city governments. However, incorporated villages must also be associated with a town. They remain part of that town’s grand list and come under the jurisdiction of the town clerk.
As long as both sides agree, villages and towns may each have their own municipal services or they may share some or all of them.
Essex Junction and Essex Town each have their own public works departments, fire departments, planning and zoning departments, recreation departments, and libraries. However, they share the same police department. Some essential government functions, such as assessing property values, are performed only by Essex Town.
Q: I live in Essex Junction, so why do I still get a tax bill from Essex Town?
A: As mentioned above, incorporated villages are associated with a town and remain part of that town’s grand list. Essex Junction is associated with Essex Town, which means that all Essex Junction residents and businesses are part of Essex Town’s grand list and, therefore, can be taxed by Essex Town.
Q: If I’m being taxed by Essex Junction for municipal services delivered by the Village government and I’m also being taxed by Essex Town, what services does the Town provide?
A: The budget for the Essex Police Department is contained within the Essex Town budget. So are some other essential municipal services such as property assessment, elections, and vital records. For example, the deeds and titles for all the properties in Essex Junction and Essex Town are maintained by the Essex Town clerk’s office
Q: If we must pay taxes to Essex Town, why not just have one local government? Wouldn’t that be easier?
A: The present governing structure was established by the Vermont Legislature in the 19th century so that Essex Town residents outside of the village area would not have to pay for infrastructure development and municipal operations within the village area of the town. This was during a period when the village, which eventually became Essex Junction, was experiencing rapid economic development while the remainder of the town was still largely rural.
Over the last few decades, there have been a number of attempts to reorganize the local governments, but none of them have won the approval of the majority of voters in the Village and Town.
Q: Are there any benefits to keeping the present local government system?
A: We believe that having a village government as well as a town government provides Essex Junction residents with a higher quality of municipal services at relatively low cost, compared to other communities in Chittenden County. It allows us to provide excellent street and sidewalk maintenance, excellent fire safety services, an excellent community library, and a small, accessible municipal government that has the resources and flexibility to respond to your needs.
For more information about the history and organization of Essex Junction, visit the History of Essex Junction page.
Q: I don’t like sending large checks through the mail. Where do I go to pay my taxes in person and get a receipt?
A: You can pay all your local taxes, including the combined Village and School taxes for Essex Junction, and the Essex Town taxes, at the Essex Junction Village offices on Lincoln Street at Five Corners. The Village clerk is available to answer tax questions, but can only issue receipts for the combined Village and School taxes. An option is also available to have your tax payments automatically withdrawn from your bank account on the due date. Click here for form.
Q: If I’m an Essex Junction resident, where do I go for a building permit?
A: You go to the Essex Junction municipal office at Five corners. The Essex Junction Development Director and/or Assistant Zoning Administrator authorizes permits within the Village of Essex Junction.
Q: Who do I call to report a problem about a street, sidewalk, sign, streetlight, hydrant, or sewer?
A: The best place to start is the Village office at (802) 878-6944. Someone there will be able to take your call and direct the problem to the appropriate person within the Village government. If there is an emergency water or sewer problem after office hours, call the Essex Police at 878-8331 and they will contact the public works pager.
Q: If I’m an Essex Junction resident, can I still use services in Essex Town?
A: Absolutely All Essex Junction residents are also residents of Essex Town and are entitled to use all Town services and facilities, such as the Essex Free Library, the Essex Recreation Department, Indian Brook, and all Essex Town hiking and biking paths.