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NO. M-6. AN ACT RELATING TO CITY OF WINOOSKI CHARTER.

(H.562)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. APPROVAL OF CHARTER AMENDMENT

The charter of the City of Winooski is amended as provided in this act. Proposals of amendment were approved by the voters on March 2, 1999.

Sec. 2. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 17, § 5.2 of the Charter is amended to read:

§ 5.2. Submission of budget and budget message

On or before *[45]* 90 days *[before the end of the fiscal year]* prior to the annual meeting held on the first Tuesday of March, the manager shall submit to the council a budget for the ensuing fiscal year and an accompanying message.

Sec. 3. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 17, § 5.4 of the Charter is added to read:

§ 5.4. Budget

(a) Budget. Notwithstanding any prior acts of the voters, the budget for the ensuing fiscal year submitted by the manager shall clearly define all anticipated operational expenditures for all city departments, offices or agencies and a sum sufficient to pay the interest and payments for all outstanding serial and nonserial bonds or other obligations of the city. The budget shall also include the estimated revenues from taxation, fines and all other lawful sources necessary to meet said anticipated expenditures. The budget shall be presented by department, office or agency.

(b) Estimated tax. The budget shall include an estimate of the tax to be levied and assessed upon the grand list of the city for the ensuing fiscal year.

(c) Budget summary. The budget shall include a three-year summary comparison by departments, offices or agencies which clearly defines the previous fiscal year's budget and actual expenditures, the current fiscal year's budget and anticipated expenditures and the ensuing fiscal year's budget.

Sec. 4. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 17, § 5.6 of the Charter is amended to read:

§ 5.6. Council and annual meeting action on budget

(a) Notice and hearing. The council shall publish in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the city the general summary of the budget and a notice stating:

(1) The times and places where copies of the message and budget are available for inspection by the public, and

(2) the time and place, not less than two weeks after such publication, and not more than 30 days prior to the annual meeting for a public hearing on the budget.

(3) The time and place of the annual meeting shall be posted as set forth in section 7.1 of this Charter (City Elections).

(b) Amendment before *[adoption]* submission to the voters. After the public hearing, the council may *[adopt]* approve the budget for submission to the voters with or without amendment. In amending the budget, it may add or increase programs or amounts and may delete or decrease any programs or amounts, except expenditures required by law or for debt service or for estimated cash deficit, provided that no amendment to the budget shall increase the *[authorized]* manager's recommended expenditures to an amount greater than the total of estimated income.

(c) *[Adoption. The council shall adopt the budget on or before the last day of the last month of the fiscal year currently ending.]* Budget vote. The council shall warn the budget to the voters for approval at the annual meeting held on the first Tuesday in March. The budget vote shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 7.1 of this Charter (City Elections). If the voters fail to approve the budget at the annual meeting, the council shall reconsider the budget and submit a revised budget to the voters prior to June first of that same year. The vote on said revised budget shall be conducted as set forth in section 7.1 of this Charter (City Elections). If *[it fails to adopt]* the voters fail to approve the revised budget *[by this date]*, the amounts appropriated for current operation for the current fiscal year shall be deemed adopted for the ensuing fiscal year on a month-to-month basis, with all items in it prorated accordingly, until such time as the council *[adopts]* warns and the voters approve a budget for the ensuing fiscal year. *[Adoption]* Voter approval of the budget shall constitute appropriations of the amounts specified therein as expenditures from the funds indicated and shall constitute a levy of the property tax therein proposed.

Sec. 5. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 17, § 5.7 of the Charter is amended to read:

§ 5.7. Public records

Copies of the budget approved by the voters and the capital program *[as adopted]* shall be public records and shall be made available to the public at suitable places in the city.

Sec. 6. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 17, § 5.11 of the Charter is amended to read:

§ 5.11. Bonds

(a) Whenever the city, in meeting assembled shall vote to issue bonds for the purpose of making permanent improvements, capital investments or for the purpose of paying the just debts of the city, the vote to issue said bonds shall automatically *[carry therewith a special annual tax as a sinking fund to pay the aforementioned bonds so voted to be issued. The city council shall annually levy and set aside a tax, which tax shall not be included within the 61-cent limit established under the provisions of this charter,]* authorize the manager to include in each annual budget a sum sufficient to pay the interest on such bonds and the serial payments.

(b) If the city should vote to issue non-serial bonds then the *[city council shall annually levy and set aside a tax]* manager shall automatically include in each annual budget a sum sufficient to pay the annual interest on said bonds and sufficient to create and accumulate a sinking fund which will pay the bonds when they mature. *[This tax shall also be exclusive of the 61-cent tax limit.]*

Sec. 7. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 17, § 5.14 of the Charter is amended to read:

§ 5.14. Tax levy, authority for

The city council shall have the power annually to levy and assess upon the grand list of said city such tax, *[which shall not exceed 61 cents on the dollar thereof, as in its judgment may be required for the payment of the debts, current expenses of the city and for carrying out any provisions of this charter, and in addition thereto, a city highway tax which shall not exceed 11 cents on the dollar of the grand list]* as set forth in the budget approved by the voters at the annual or a special meeting called for the purpose, and such other tax as may be necessary for the payment of all state, county and state highway taxes. *[The city council may assess and lay such taxes in excess of the aforesaid limit the voters may direct at an annual or special meeting called for that purpose.]* Such tax bills, with a warrant signed by the mayor or the deputy mayor, shall be delivered to the treasurer, to whom all taxes shall be paid in money.

Sec. 8. TRANSITIONAL PROVISION

The provisions of this charter relating to the development and adoption of the budget and the setting of the property tax rate as they existed immediately prior to the effective date of this act shall apply for fiscal year 2000. The financial procedures as amended by the March 1999 annual meeting shall be effective for the 2001 fiscal year and beyond.

Sec. 9. SECTION HEADING

The section heading for § 5.5 of chapter 17 of 24 App. V.S.A. is amended to read:

§ 5.5. *[Budget]* Capital improvement plan

Approved: May 10, 1999