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To The Editor:
A municipal water system for Waitsfield makes good economic sense. If you don't want your taxes to go up, vote yes. If you vote no on the water bond issue, your taxes will have to go up; here is why.
The town has spent almost a million dollars on engineering the water and sewer projects. If the water bond fails, we can't use grant money to pay for the engineering. With a yes vote, the water system bond will be paid off by the users of the system, not the taxpayers at large.
The water engineering fees of $300,000 will have to be paid by the taxpayers if the bond does not pass. If this is paid off in one year, it could mean six or seven cents on the property tax rate. The select board might elect to pay this off over five years reducing the initial shock but not the accumulated effect.
Waitsfield has applied to the state for a TIF (tax increment finance) district. These are very competitive and allow the town to keep all property tax revenue from new construction in that TIF district. The property tax money that we presently send to the state from every new project could be kept and spent on sidewalks, walkways, police cruisers and other infrastructure. The state will not grant a TIF district without public water and sewer.
A no vote means we have to keep sending money to the state that we could be keeping. A no vote means no tax relief. No means taxes will go up. The school is going to have to spend money on its water system if we don't get a water system. The costs of water for the town office and shed will be much higher if we don't have a yes vote on municipal system. If you don't want your taxes to increase, vote yes.