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Introduced by Representative Jewett of Ripton

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Municipal government; local elections; budgets; voting

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require separate votes on municipal budgets for spending at an amount equal to the previous year’s budget adjusted for inflation plus one percentage point and on additional spending above that amount.


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

Sec. 1.  17 V.S.A. § 2664 is amended to read:

§ 2664.  BUDGET

(a)  A town shall vote such sums of money as it deems necessary for the interest of its inhabitants and for the prosecution and defense of the common rights.  It shall express in its vote the specific amounts, or the rate on a dollar of the grand list, to be appropriated for laying out and repairing highways and for other necessary town expenses.  If a town votes specific amounts in lieu of a rate on a dollar of the grand list, the selectmen shall, after the grand list book has been computed and lodged in the office of the town clerk, set the tax rate necessary to raise the specific amounts voted.

(b)  If a proposed budget contains spending in excess of the maximum inflation amount, then in lieu of any other statutory or charter form of budget adoption or budget vote, the legislative body of the town shall present the budget to the voters by means of a divided question, in the form of vote provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(1)  “Maximum inflation amount” in this section means that amount of spending authorized in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed multiplied by the New England Economic Project Cumulative Price Index percentage change, as of November 15 preceding distribution of the proposed budget, for state and local government purchases of goods and services for the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed, plus one percentage point.

(2)  Form of vote.

“Town Budget Question #1:

Shall the voters of the town approve a total budget in the amount of [$                 ], which includes the Maximum Inflation Amount of spending?

“Town Budget Question #2:

If Question #1 is approved, shall the voters of the

town also approve additional spending of [$             ]?”

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont