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Burlington politicians square off on ballot question - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington politicians square off on ballot question

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger called an emergency press conference over the weekend because of a mailer sent to all city residents by a conservative superpac just days before they go out to vote.

"We did not call this press conference because we have a problem with opposition and healthy debate," Weinberger said. "We did call it because I do have a problem with mailers that are sent the final weekend that are inaccurate and misleading."

The mailer, sent out by Vermonters First, encourages Burlingtonians to vote no on Question 1, a proposed $9 million fiscal stability bond to consolidate and restructure the debt the city incurred from the Burlington Telecom fiasco.

The superpac calls the measure an added tax.

"I do appreciate the mayor coming up with an idea, to me this simply isn't the right one," said City Councilor Paul Decelles.

The bond has the backing of 13 of Burlington's 14 city councilors. The sole councilor in opposition, Paul Decelles, worked with the superpac on the mailer.

"I do see this fiscal stability bond as a tax increase," he says. "I was hoping that with his slogan of a fresh start, we would have been given a better option than this. Tax increase to me, should have been a last resort."

But Weinberger says just a few days before people go to the polls, he thinks Decelles and the pac are mailing the wrong message.

"It is misleading, I believe, to suggest the fiscal stability bond is a tax increase. It's a cost-saving measure," Weinberger says. "It is restructuring of existing debt and creating a vehicle to pay that debt off over time where currently none exist."

What ever you want to call it, if passed, the tax bill on $250,000 home in the city will go up by about 60 dollars. Two-thirds of voters have to vote yes in order for the fiscal stability bond to be approved.

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