Introduced by Representatives Corcoran of Bennington, Krawczyk of Bennington, Mook of Bennington and Morrissey of Bennington
Subject: Municipal government; municipal charters; Town of Bennington
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to approve amendments to the charter of the Town of Bennington which eliminate the Downtown Improvement Commission and place responsibility for the District with the Select Board and town manager.
AN ACT RELATING TO AMENDING THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF BENNINGTON
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. CHARTER APPROVAL
The general assembly approves the Town of Bennington charter amendments as provided in this act.
Sec. 2. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 103 § 506 is amended to read:
§ 506. CREATION
AND DISSOLUTION OF BENNINGTON
There is hereby created in the Town of Bennington a special district to be
known as the Bennington Downtown Improvement District (District) which shall be
that area set forth on a map approved by the voters of Bennington and filed
with the Town Clerk. The area of the District may be changed upon a majority
vote of the legal voters at an annual or special meeting duly warned. (b)
The Bennington Downtown Improvement District shall exist for three years and
shall dissolve on the third anniversary of its creation unless its existence is
extended by a vote of the legal voters at an annual or special meeting duly
warned. Upon dissolution of the District all assets under the control of the
Commission shall be disbursed in such a manner as to insure that they be used
for similar purposes as those for which the District was created, and thereupon
all components of the District, including the Commission, shall cease.
Sec. 3. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 103 § 508 is amended to read:
§ 508. PURPOSES AND POWERS
(a) The District is created for the general purpose of maintaining and improving the economic, social, cultural and environmental vitality and quality of the Town of Bennington (in particular, the District created by this section 507 of this charter); to promote the Town and the District as a regional retail, commercial and service center; and to serve as an advocate for the orderly development of the District in order to encourage expansion of the retail, commercial and service base of the District and the Town by attracting new business and investment.
The rights, powers and duties of the
Commission acting on its own authority
or through the Select Board as set forth in this section, District shall
be exercised by the Select Board and shall be broadly construed to
accomplish the purposes set forth above and shall include the following:
(1) To advertise and promote the Improvement District.
(2) To represent the interests of the District.
To hire and remove personnel. (4)
To receive and expend contributions, grants and income. (5)(4)
To expend funds as provided for in the Commission budget or as
otherwise approved by the Select Board. (6)(5)
To manage and maintain public spaces and to assume or supplement the services
and maintenance heretofore provided to the District by the Town as recommended
to and approved by the Select Board. (7)(6)
To acquire and dispose of property on behalf of the Town as recommended and
approved by the Select Board. (8)(7)
To install and make public improvements as recommended to and approved by
the Select Board. (9)(8)
To cooperate with the Town in the use, management and improvement of public
parking facilities and to undertake such management or improvements and to
regulate vehicular traffic within the District as recommended to and approved
by the Select Board To improve, manage and regulate public parking
facilities and vehicular traffic within the District. (10)(9)
To enter into contracts with the approval of the Select Board Members and
in the name of and on behalf of the Town as may be necessary or convenient
to carry out the purpose of this charter. In no case may a contract entered
into during the first three years of the existence of the District, extend
beyond the Sunset date as set forth in Section 511 (b). (11)(10)
To regulate, lease, license, establish rules and fees and otherwise manage the
use of public spaces within the District as recommended to and approved by
the Select Board. (12)(11)
To plan for the orderly development of the District in cooperation with the
Town Planning Commission. (13)(12)
To do all other things necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes for
which this District was created except that the Commission may not assume
authority over any subject matter or activity under the jurisdiction of another
Town official, department or board as of the effective date of section 507 of
this charter or contrary to any order or ordinance in effect as of such date,
other than to hire and remove its own personnel, unless and until the Select
Board, by order, transfers such jurisdiction to the Commission, or amends the
order or ordinance, so long as there is consistency to applicable sections of
the charter and State Statute.
Sec. 4. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 103 § 509 is amended to read:
§ 509. ANNUAL BUDGET
Commission town manager shall submit each year an operating
budget of anticipated expenditures and revenues to the Select Board for
approval for the next fiscal year. In the event the Select Board does not
approve the budget as submitted, the Select Board shall return the budget
forthwith to the Commission town manager with its recommendations
for the Commission's town manager’s reconsideration. Appropriations
other than from contributions, grants and income for the Commission
shall be raised solely through District Taxes which shall be assessed and
collected as a tax on property as provided for in Section 515 510
of this charter. The Commission Select Board may borrow money in
anticipation of District Taxes upon approval of the Select Board.
Sec. 5. 24 App. V.S.A. chapter 103 § 510 is amended to read:
§ 510. DISTRICT TAXES
District Taxes are charges levied upon the owners of taxable properties
located in the District, excepting properties used exclusively for residential
purposes, which taxes shall be used to defray the expenses incurred
Commission in connection with the operation, maintenance and repair of the
The District Tax for each property in the District subject to the tax shall be
based upon a rate on each one hundred dollars of listed value of the property
as adjusted under subsection (c) of this section. The tax rate shall be
determined by dividing the amount to be raised by taxes, by the total value of
the taxable properties on the grand list as adjusted located in the District
which are subject to the District Tax under this subchapter.
circumstance shall the amount raised by taxes in the District exceed the sum of
$40,000 in any of the first three years of existence of the District.
District Tax shall be set by the
Town Assessor Select Board upon
approval of the Commission budget by the Select Board and notice in
writing thereof shall be given by the assessor to owners of record as of
April 1 of each year of property so assessed, or to their agents or attorneys,
stating therein the amount of such District Taxes, and such Taxes shall be due
and payable to the Town Treasurer when normal Town and School Taxes are due. The
Town Treasurer shall collect unpaid District Taxes as provided for the
collection of taxes in the charter. The Treasurer shall transmit all such
collected taxes to the Treasurer of the District. District Taxes shall be a
lien on the properties when assessed and until the tax is paid or the lien is
otherwise discharged by operation of law.
(c) In the case of any property used for both residential and nonresidential purposes within the District as of April 1, the Board of Listers (Board) shall adjust the listed value for the purposes of determining the District Tax under this section to exclude the value of that portion of the property used for residential purposes. The Board shall determine the adjusted grand list value of the business portion of the property and give notice of the same as provided under Chapter 131 of Title 32 of the Vermont Statutes. Any property owner may file a grievance with the Board and appeal the decision of the Board as provided for under Chapter 131 of Title 32 of the Vermont Statutes; however, the filing of an appeal of the determination of the Board and pendency of the appeal shall not vacate the lien on the property assessed, and the District taxes must be paid and continue to be paid as they become due.
Sec. 6. REPEAL
24 App. V.S.A. chapter 103 § 507 (Bennington Downtown Improvement Commission) is repealed.
Sec. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect upon passage.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street