Proposed charter changes could mean new tax for some in Burlington

Published: May. 31, 2020 at 7:35 PM EDT
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A charter change proposal that would increase taxes on the wealthy, and address economic inequities highlighted by the pandemic, will go before the Burlington City Council on Monday.

The 'Just Economy' charter changes proposal, introduced by Councilor Perri Freeman, P-Central District, calls for a number of new ordinances.

The changes include providing an ordinance that protect residential tenants from evictions without just cause and wrongful termination of employees without just cause in the city. This change would be reviewed by the city's Charter Change Committee in August. If approved, it would be voted on by residents in a special election, during the general election this November.

On Town Meeting Day 2021, the proposal calls to include a vote that would create a municipal income tax for Burlington residents making at least $125,000 per year. It would also create a "municipal luxury" sales tax on residential and commercial properties sales over $500,000. This would be have to be approved by the City's Charter Change committee in November, before it reached the ballot next March.

In a March 2021 Charter Change Committee meeting, members would vote on a new ordinance that would set a minimum wage for all workers in Burlington, and set minimum standards for employers in the city to provide employees with an estimate of an employees work schedule.

Another change would allow public participation in the development of the city's budget.

The charter changes would also need approval by the Legislature.

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