sales tax

Jan 18, 2005 – City Council Meeting

7PM, Contois Auditorium, City Hall. On the agenda is a discussion of Instant Runoff Voting, BHS Athletic Complex, city’s 1% sales tax, Moran Plant/ YMCA discussion (view project discussion) regarding March vote, so far.

Meeting Minutes

(Next Meeting February 7th)

*Councilors missing: Cheryl McDonough, Ward 2 and Jean O’Sullivan, Ward 7

General City Affairs:

  • Councilor Curley moves #19-23 to be removed from the agenda because of the time constraints
  • Councilor Keogh mentions something about a City councilor polo shirt design?
  • Mayor Clavelle: was in D.C. over the Martin Luther King weekend:

    • Community Development block grant program funds may be cut back
    • Greater Burlington may be forming a grassroots relationship with the Tsunami affected areas

Committee Reports:

  • Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization: Meeting Jan 19th covering vehicular noise and possibly University place
  • Ordinance: Zoning committee isn’t prepared for their work; Smoking ban; outsourcing of jobs

Public Hearing:

  • Instant Runoff Voting:

    • Terry (Blue Ribbon commission)- a waste of money (ie French election); suggests 2 changes to the charter language: -more than 2 candidates for the write in option -shorter language
      (if there is no majority winner, then the votes will be retabulated)
    • Michael McGargin: voters should be allowed to discuss the items more, and it the Iraq resolution has been discussed more than the IRV has, the public is not informed

  • Sales Tax

    • Nancy Wood (Burlington Business Association) they have no official position board meeting on the sales tax; what does the tax mean to the retailers? retailers paying 120% and bars paying the gross tax rate already; what is the hope for the future of Burlington? If Winooski and other surrounding cities had a similar tax, it would help to lessen the proposed tax burden
    • Dawn Francis (LC Chamber) they still need to review the tax in order to make a decision
    • Alan Sousie – any tax is a burden; increase of property and school tax upcoming should include the property tax relief with the wording of the ballot item; the older population of Burlington is on the rise, how would it affect them? State all the detailes and as clearly as possible
    • Vincent Downing – paying enough taxes as it is already

  • Increase in Borrowing authority for the City and Burlington Electric

    • City and the Electric Department issue has no public comments

Action on the Public Hearing:

  • IRV:

    • Councilor Shannon: This was intended to elect persons that people want in office, perhaps sample ballots would help the confusion
    • Councilor Blais: Still confused about how the IRV works (was explained over 5 minutes)
    • Councilor Bushor: Voters should understand how it works; would like the question to be shorter

  • Sales tax:

    • Bushor: How would the money generated from the tax be used if passed? (Would support the measure because most of the sales are from non-residents)

      • It would be applied toward property tax relief

  • Parks and Recreation funding:

    • Gosse court armory revitalization in the upcoming weeks for the New North End Youth center and Leddy Park redevelopments

    *Mayor Clavelle: City will have paid the debt off by 2007

Presentations by Burlington School Department:

  • Superintendent Lyman Amsden regarding School Department Budget
  • Burlington High School Steering Committee regarding Athletic Facility plan

Public Comment on School Items:

  • Joe Delaney (President of the BHS Boosters) -comprised of 15-20 parents, but over 100 contribute to the organization; Contributed $20,000 for the systems at Leddy Park, but this year only have a budget of $30,000
  • Michael McGargin: poor wording of the current question on the ballot item; 85% of the budget is set for the staff; school board also increased the tax for capital improvements without letting the city know
  • Dennis (Director of Youth and Community Empowerment) new organization in Burlington, supports the complex

Public Comment on Moran and Iraq ballot items:

  • Maurice Mahoney: Council members should exclude themselves from the vote if they are members of the YMCA; let the city decide whether or not the YMCA should be there
  • Burlington Anti-war Coalition members: Voters haven’t had a say in the war, let their voices be heard

Items of interest not discussed thoroughly by Council:

**In the proposed amendments to the agenda made by Lori Olberg, Administrative Assistant, consent agenda item #25.12 RESOLUTION: Authorization for Water Tower/Land Lease Agreement (Board of Finance) with the consent action to “waive the reading and adopt the resolution.” (per City Attorney McNeil)

**Ward Three Clerk, Jason Baker, Ward One Inspector of Election, Jessica Oski, and Ward Five School Commissioner, Marissa Caldwell, are all resigning

Meeting Adjourned 11 PM

Jan 31, 2005 – Board of Finance meeting

6PM, First Floor Conference Room #12, City Hall – Board of Finance meeting

**Councilor Knodell in audience, arrives 20 minutes late

Mayor Clavelle called meeting to order
Agenda items: 1) 2006 Budget and 2) 1% Sales tax

2006 Budget & 1% Sales Tax:

  • No programs have been added or taken away

  • Contracts with Fire, Police are a 3 year length

  • There is a current gap of $105,000 (including the sales tax which would generate an estimate of $1.6 Million with 75% property tax of $1.2 Million

  • Property tax relief program: those that make $47,000 and lower will not be affected by the reappraisal; those below the $47,000 will receive relief from state education program

  • The $47,000 level is determined by the state, not the city (those above $88,000 would not receive any assistance)

  • The number of people not taking advantage of the property tax relief are not completely accurate

  • $.99 of the $1.05 tax rate is revenue neutral

  • Clavelle refers to Williston as an example of how the sales tax can help the community in property tax relief; also Clavelle suggests increasing property tax to make up for the gap if sales tax isn’t approved by the voters or is delayed

  • Kelleher doesn’t think 100% of the relief would be realistic, with regards to the level of services provided by the city

Comments or Questions from Audience and board:

  • Leslie of the Burlington Business Association: Any tax is a concern for the members, they’d like the revenue generated go into the general fund

  • Curley: How many employees are retiring? Are there any fees coming in from Fletcher Allen? What are the rates of the Electric Department?

  • Bushor: Feels it should apply as multiple year instead of just for FY 2006, an does not need to be in the charter

  • Montroll: Feels it should be applied as one year and then re-neogtiated after this year

  • Sales tax: how to get the information about the tax to the public; Kelleher is attending all the NPAs in February, and will be on Ch. 17 on the week of 2/14

  • There are eight questions on the sample ballots

Meeting adjourned at 7:30PM