Message from the City Council about March 3rd Ballot

Dear St. Albans City Voter,

On Town Meeting Day, we have an opportunity to keep the momentum moving forward and continue to invest in our community. All ballot articles are unanimously supported by the City Council.

The foundation of this year’s proposal is the local option tax. This is projected to generate $630,000 per year. It would apply a one percent tax to hotel rooms, meals, alcohol, and sales. Unlike the property tax, it is also paid by people visiting the City for work or pleasure, not just those who live here. For example, a $50 restaurant meal would now cost $50.50 It also applies to internet sales so we can capture some of the commerce that has moved online and use the funds to strengthen our downtown.

Most importantly, the Local Option Tax (LOT) allows us to reduce our reliance on the property tax. For example, our budget proposal has a zero percent increase in the property tax. That hasn’t happened in ten years. And it’s all because of the LOT.

This year, the local option tax is intended to fund the community pool and the neighborhood sidewalks. The pool is a $2.75 million bond to construct a year-round pool at Hard’ack with St. Albans Town. The sidewalks are a $1.5 million bond and are the final piece in the neighborhood sidewalk program. Voting yes to approve these items and the local option tax will not increase property taxes.

We are also seeking voter approval for $1 million in tax increment finance bonds for the former Fonda container site. These funds will be used to address environmental concerns and prepare the site for redevelopment. The Genesee and Wyoming Railroad has signed on to relocate their offices from Federal Street to a portion of the Fonda site, pending voter approval in March.

The last five years have seen record public and private investment in the City. Our $20 million public investment has produced $70 million in growth to our tax base through new and expanded buildings and businesses. The local option tax and the Fonda TIF bond allow us to keep the momentum moving and continue to offer our tax payers a strong return on their investments.

Make sure you’re registered and ready to vote on Town Meeting Day, March 3.

Tim Smith, Mayor
Chad Spooner, Council President
Tim Hawkins, City Councilor
Marie Bessette, City Councilor
Jim Pelkey, City Councilor
Mike McCarthy, City Councilor
Kate Laddison, City Councilor 

Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact City Manager Dominic Cloud at, 802-524-1500 ext. *254.

Official website of the City of Saint Albans, Vermont | (802) 524-1500 |