At tonight’s city council meeting the issue of the local option sales appeared again in the form of a new resolution to put the question on the ballot, again. It’s basically the same proposal as last year, a 1% extra sales tax within Burlington, with the exception that this time there is no promise of property tax relief. The councilors and the mayor 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 any additional tax burdens.
The proposed sales tax would provide an estimated $2,600,000 in revenue. $780,000 (30%) of that would go to the state and another $220,000 would go to the state in the form of administrative fees. This sounds like a lot of our money to be sending to the state. Wouldn’t we be better to keep it here in Burlington by not having the tax and allowing people to spend more on actual goods and services, which benefits our community?
It was suggested by the mayor, and other councilors agreed, that the city will have to make some kind of budget cuts this year to help sell the idea of the sales tax and to convince people that the sales tax isn’t just another way to tax the citizens out of their money.
It sounded to me that once the sales tax would be accepted all bets would be off and we would see increased property taxes in the future along side possible increases in the sales tax rates.
Therefore, as the resolution stands, I would not support it because I simply would not trust the city with extra taxing power. They will do anything but make the very difficult budget cuts we need to make to balance our city’s budget without further burdening the people of this city.