Monday, March 13, 2006

Budget battles: Town Meeting strikes back

A long time ago on a blog far, far away...

Yeah, it's been about two weeks since my last post — woe unto me.

Part of it had to do with the craziness of Town Meeting Day coverage in Stowe, which involved lots of debate on on the town government's capital budget and several hot items at the ballot box, including the third rejection of the Akeley Memorial Building renovation.

This was the third town meeting I've covered since joining the Stowe Reporter and it was definitely the most lively. So, what comes now? For starters, voters have both a school budget and a municipal budget. Thanks to approval of a 1-percent local option tax, the municipal tax rate is actually down a notch. Not so with the ballooning school budget, which is up some 20 percent largely because of the state education funding formula. Bottomline: Stowe property taxes are increasing double digits, despite attempts at cutting municipal spending and the addition of the option tax.

The Stowe Select Board will be meeting this Wednesday at 5 p.m. to start the new year ahead and tackle these and other lingering issues. See you there.

— Scott Monroe

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