There are 5 articles on the Annual City Meeting Ballot (not to include the school ballot items). The articles include elections for City Councilors, municipal budget, local options tax, rental car tax, and raising the age for purchase of tobacco products. You can view the ballot items on the City's website at www.sbvt.gov.
Today, we'll focus on additional information on Article III.
ARTICLE III - City Charter Amendment 1 : 1% local options tax
Shall the voters amend the City charter to add a limited purpose sales, rooms, meals, and alcoholic beverages tax? Passing this article will authorize the City Council to assess up to 1% tax on those items. IF approved, the state legislature would also have to approve. Then, voters would have to approve each future project before the tax could be initiated.
A YES VOTE WILL:
Allows the City to petition the State Legislature for a 1% increase in the local options tax. IF subsequently approved by the State Legislature, the additional 1% would:
- finance projects intended to engage economic growth and improve quality of life in the City and region;
- provide the opportunity for alternative funding for future capital projects;
- require any future project to be approved by city voters;
- avoid relying on the Property Tax to pay for capital projects approved by the voters;
- require capital projects to be approved within a 10-year timeframe following the first approved project, in order to be paid by this local options tax;
- sunset as soon as the final debt is paid off for voter-approved project(s), plus capital reserve;
- authorize the Council to recommend any specific capital project for voter approval using local options tax funding; and
- spread the distribution of the tax over a larger base.
A YES VOTE WOULD NOT:
- WOULD NOT provide immediate funding for various capital projects.
- WOULD NOT fund any project without subsequent voter approval.
- WOULD NOT authorize the use of the additional 1% for an endless time period.
- WOULD NOT allow for capital projects to be funded through the local options tax.
- WOULD NOT authorize the additional 1% to be collected beyond the term of debt payoff for approved projects.
- WOULD NOT be used to offset any operational costs typically funded through property tax.
- WOULD NOT give the City Council the authority to approve the tax for funding projects without voter approval.
- WOULD NOT allow the tax immediately, but needs legislative approval.
What is THE PROCESS for the tax to be imposed?
The following steps would need to be completed for the tax to be available to fund specific capital projects:
- March 5 Vote: Article III approved
- Moved to Legislature for approval
- If approved, available for use for voter-approved capital and infrastructure projects. Additionally, the following would need to be completed:
a. City Council recommendation for project to be on a future ballot
b. 2 Public Hearings
c. Vote on the project via ballot
d. If the project passes, City Council can impose the tax.
**Each project would need to be approved by voters.
PUBLIC HEARING/PRE-TOWN MEETING
FH Tuttle Middle School, 500 Dorset St.
Monday, March 4 7 pm
ANNUAL MEETING / VOTING
Tuesday, March 5 7a - 7p
District 7-1: Orchard School
District 7-2: Middle School
District 7-3: Middle School
District 7-4: Chamberlin School