The following letter to the editor was published in the Burlington Free Press on January 9, 2006.
Burlington sales tax back on the ballot
The City Council has proposed the local option sales tax question to be on the ballot again. It’s basically the same proposal as last year, a 1 percent extra sales tax within Burlington, except there is no promise of property tax relief. The council acknowledged that it will be a tough sell as it failed last time and with the recent reappraisal and increased tax burden on homeowners and renters, the voters will not want additional tax burdens.
The proposed sales tax would provide an estimated $2.6 million in revenue; $780,000 (30 percent) of the revenue plus $220,000 in administrative fees would go to the state. This sounds like a lot of our money to be sending to the state. Wouldn’t we be better off keeping the money here in Burlington by allowing people to spend more on goods and services, which benefits our local communities?
The mayor suggested that the city needs to make budget cuts this year to help sell the idea of the sales tax. It sounds to me that once the sales tax is accepted, all bets would be off and we would see increased property taxes in the future along with possible sales tax increases. Therefore, I would not support the sales tax because I simply do not trust the city with extra taxing power.
The city needs to make some very difficult budget cuts to balance our city’s budget without further burdening the people of Burlington. Vote for Jeremy Ryan for City Council. For more information call 865-0111 or go online: www.jeremyryan.org.
The writer is a candidate for Ward 7 City Council