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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Colchester Considers Local Option Tax

Angela Evancie
Early voting is now open for Town Meeting Australian ballot questions. In-person voting takes place in Colchester on Tuesday, March 3. Both districts 9-1 and 9-2 now vote at the high school.

Colchester voters going to the polls on Town Meeting Day Tuesday, March 3, will consider adopting a 1 percent local option tax. If adopted, the town estimates the tax on sales, rooms, meals and alcohol could yield between $873,724 and $1.525 million in the next fiscal year.

"We have tried to hold down spending while seeking other revenue sources to reduce the property tax burden on Colchester taxpayers," an explanation of the proposal on the town website states. "A Local Option Tax on rooms, meals, sales and alcohol adopted in Williston, South Burlington, Burlington and St. Albans Town has resulted in lower property tax rates in these towns. We are considering this revenue source, of which it is estimated 87 percent  would be paid by non-residents of Colchester."

If passed, Colchester would use the Local Option Tax for debt reduction and lowering town taxes by 5 percent in FY16.

The proposal has won the support of the Colchester Community Development Corporation, provided the revenue is spent on voter-approved projects. The CCDC wrote a position paper on the tax proposal stating, "CCDC believes that it is imperative that this additional revenue be spent in a prudent fashion for needs that the residents of Colchester have clearly identified through the ballot process. In order to insure this approval, we believe that the use of funds be limited to payment of voter approved bonds or voter approved notes.

"These revenues will provide both a short term benefit through the payment of our current debt obligations while providing a long term benefit by providing resources for major investments in our future when the residents have identified major capital projects that they find necessary."

Early voting is now open on this and other Town Meeting Australian ballot questions. In-person voting takes place in Colchester on Tuesday, March 3, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at Colchester High School. Both districts 9-1 and 9-2 now vote at the high school.

Colchester's annual Town Meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m., on Monday, March 2. Prior to the meeting, at 5:30 p.m., the Select and School Boards will be hosting a free community dinner in the high school cafeteria. Attendees are asked to bring a pot luck dessert to share.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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