SUTTON- Sutton residents will have a lot to think about at the polls tomorrow. They are facing a higher tax rate than in past years for several reasons.
Two years ago the state of Vermont made an error when setting the towns tax rate, resulting in a 18% tax decrease for the entire community. Now the town will have to make up that money by raising the tax rate in the town.
An extra $43,047 will also be taken out both this year and next year. This is due to the termination of Principal, Roberta Stradling, who was let go after an alleged physical altercation with a faculty member. Though no criminal charge were brought against her, Stradling still lost her job after completing only one of her three contracted years. The town agreed to buy out the rest of her contract, resulting in the extra money. To put that in perspective a Sutton residence paying taxes on $100,000 home will now pay an extra $56 in property tax.
At the same time, the cost of keeping the roads clear and safe will be lightening tax payers pockets. Not only did the cost of road salt go up $14, but the town is also looking to replace their truck. The town doesn’t like to keep a truck longer than 10 years, and their current one is already 11 years old.
Selectman, Tim Simpson, isn’t worried about how the truck will affect the budget.
“I think we have roughly $100,000 we set aside every year into our equipment repair fund, and we put $50,000 in the budget because it will probably be $150 to buy a new truck" says Simpson.
Sutton voters will have to make decision by tomorrow on what they are and are not willing to pay for this year. Most of the uncertainty is coming from Stradling’s severence package.
EDIT 2/3/15: In the original version of this article it was written that an alleged altercation broke out between Principal Sterling and a student. This was not the case, it was a faculty member.