This article by Jim Therrien originally appeared March 3 in the Bennington Banner.
BENNINGTON — Town voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected the idea of a new tax, shooting down proposed local option sales taxes on retail sales, rooms, meals and alcohol.
Each option was proposed in a separate ballot question, seeking approval to add a local 1 percent tax to existing state taxes on those items. Town officials and other supporters had hoped to join the 20 other Vermont communities participating in the state’s local option tax program and to receive an estimated nearly $1.3 million annually from the additional revenue.
But Bennington voters were emphatic, rejecting the option tax on retail sales — the largest in terms of revenue — with 935 in favor and 2,498 opposed; on meals with 1,149 in favor and 2,322 opposed; on rooms, with 1,509 in favor and 1,968 opposed, and on alcoholic beverages, with 1,697 in favor and 1,808 opposed.
“The options tax is something that has been very helpful to a lot of communities in Vermont, and although the voters decided not to go with it, this looks like a conversation we can keep having and maybe see if we can make it work for the community in the future,” said Select Board Chairman Donald Campbell.
Read full article at the Bennington Banner.
For full election results in Bennington, watch video featuring Town Clerk Cassandra Barbeau.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)