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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.738

Introduced by Representatives Scheuermann of Stowe, Browning of Arlington, Jewett of Ripton, Manwaring of Wilmington and Winters of Williamstown

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  County government; county budgets; budget committees

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that county budgets be approved by a county budget committee comprising members from legislative bodies of the municipalities within the county.

AN ACT RELATING TO APPROVAL OF COUNTY BUDGETS

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

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 140 is added to read:

§ 140.  COUNTY BUDGET COMMITTEE

(a)  The legislative body of each municipality shall appoint one of its members to the county budget committee.  A member of a county budget committee shall serve for one year or until a successor is appointed.

(b)  Annually, at a meeting of the voters warned for the purpose under section 133 of this title, each assistant judge shall present a report of the preliminary proposed county budget to the members of the county budget committee and to the court administrator individually by mail, return receipt requested, for the purpose of inviting discussion.  The report shall include:

(1)  a list of county officers;

(2)  a list of the aggregate fair market property values of the municipalities in the county as most recently determined by the director of property valuation and review;

(3)  the most recent annual report of the assistant judges under section 224 of this title;

(4)  the most recent annual sheriff's report as forwarded to the auditor of accounts under subsection 290b(d) of this title; and

(5)  a comparative budget showing all current reserves and funds accrued to the county and expenses for the current fiscal year and the proposed reserves and funds to be accrued to the county and expenses for the ensuing fiscal year.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 133 is amended to read:

§ 133.  COUNTY TAX; AMOUNT; ASSESSMENT

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(c)  Annually, on or before January December 31, the assistant judges shall call a meeting of the voters of the county for the purpose of presenting the proposed budget of the county for the ensuing year and inviting discussion thereon.  The meeting shall be held at a place within the county and shall be warned by a notice posted in three public places in the county and published in all daily newspapers having general circulation in the county at least 30 14 and not more than 40 30 days prior to the meeting.  If a daily newspaper of general circulation is not published in the county, the notice shall be published in a weekly newspaper of general circulation in the county.  The warning shall include a summary of the expenditures being proposed for the various areas covered by the proposed budget and shall provide the public with information about how a copy of the proposal may be obtained. Members of legislative bodies of each of the towns within the county budget committee shall be notified of the meeting by mail not less than 14 and not more than 30 days prior to the meeting.  Copies of the proposed budget shall be available to the public during normal business hours in the county courthouse and in the office of the clerks of the towns located in the county.  At the meeting, the county budget committee shall vote to approve or reject the proposed budget.

(d)  Annually, not less than within 14 nor more than 21 days following the county meeting provided in subsection (c) of this section, the assistant judges shall review the proposed budget of the county in light of any discussion thereon at the county meeting and, if deemed expedient, make and deliver to the county treasurer a written order directing the treasurer to issue, on or before March 1 following, the statements required by section 4965 of Title 32, and warrants to the several treasurers of the towns for the collection of a tax sufficient to pay such indebtedness and estimated expense, but the whole amount of such tax shall not exceed in one year five cents on a dollar of the equalized grand list of such county.

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Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us