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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

2014 Brattleboro Budget In The Black


[Brattleboro, 1,000 years ago]

LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER KING DICK YIELDED THE MUNICIPALITY TO SIR DAVID: THE ONCE FEARSOME, FIRE-BREATHING BUDGET-DRAGON WAS SLAIN, THANKS TO AN IBRATTLEBORO POLL. 

SOME SAY THE POLL HAD BEEN HACKED. BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT ONLY THE WOODEN FLAGPOLE IN FRONT OF THE IBRATTLEBORO COMPLEX HAD BEEN HACKED BY SOME KID WHO JUST HAD TO TRY OUT THE NEW HATCHET HE RECEIVED AS A GIFT FOR HIS 10TH BIRTHDAY. 

REGARDLESS OF THAT, THE KNIGHTS AND LADY OF THE DIAS WERE SO IMPRESSED BY THE POLL RESULTS, THAT THEY TIMELY ORDERED THEIR AS-YET-TO-BE-NAMED CASTLE-MANAGER IMMEDIATELY TO IMPLEMENT THE WINNING CHOICE TO THAT WEEK’S POLL QUESTION, WHICH WAS: 

 The best way for Brattleboro to increase town income to offset expenses is:

THANKS TO MODERN ARCHEOLOGICAL SCIENCE, THE EXACT DETAILS OF THIS HISTORIC IBRATTLEBORO POLL IS A MATTER UNDISPUTED RECORD, AMPLY VERIFIED BY AUTHENTICATED, CARBON-DATED 2013 DOCUMENTS PULLED FROM THE ANCIENT RUINS OF THE DEGRAY BUILDING. 

ACCORDING TO THE DOCUMENTATION, ABOUT HALF OF WHICH WAS STILL HARDCOPY IN THOSE PRIMITIVE DAYS, THE POLL CHOICE RESULTS WERE AS FOLLOWS:

shift some costs from property owners to a 1% sales tax: .23% (9 votes)

 

sell some buildings or other assets: .23% (11 votes)

 

What happened to the "postpone the new fire and police station" option? (write-in): .18% (7 votes)

 

hold bake sales, auctions, tag sales for the town: .10% (4 votes)

 

increase parking fees and fines:  .05% (2 votes)

 

Create a solar electric utility (write-in): .02% (1 vote)

 

delete the new fire & police station (write-in): .05% (2 votes)

 

sell art and artifacts in Library's collection: .02% (1 vote)

 

raise costs for licenses, user fees: .02% (1 vote)

 

 charge admission, set up toll booths at key locations: .02% (1 vote)

 

add a town wishing well and collect coins: .02% (1 vote)

 

have affiliate accounts with major businesses and encourage everyone to shop online: .02% (1 vote)

 

raise property and utility taxes: 99% (11,987 votes)

[this one was the winner]

 

 

 

ALTHOUGH THE IBRATTLEBORO PROPRIETORS PROCLAIMED THAT THEIR POLL WAS UNSCIENTIFIC, AND “FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY,” THE FOUR KNIGHTS AND THE LADY OF THE DIAS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO BOW TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, AND RAISE PROPERTY AND UTILITY TAXES. 

DESPITE THE IMPOTENT YOWLS OF THE DEPOSED KING, PROPERTY AND UTILITY TAXES SOON DOUBLED, AND WITHIN ANOTHER YEAR TRIPLED. 

AS IT TURNED OUT -- DIRE TEA-PARTY WARNINGS ASIDE -- THE INCREASED REVENUE BROUGHT BRATTLEBORO TO IT’S GREAT GOLDEN AGE. THE INCREASED TAX BURDEN MOTIVATED THE SUBJECTS TO WORK HARDER AND MORE PRODUCTIVELY. SOON EVERYONE IN THE KINGDOM GREW QUITE WEALTHY.  

THERE WAS SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE FOR ALL, INCLUDING FREE YOGA, TAI CHI, HOT TUBS, AND MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR EVERYONE EXCEPT ONE VIDDA, WHO ALONE REFUSED IT. CARS WERE BANNED FROM DOWNTOWN,  THE MASSIVELY UGLY TRAFFIC SIGNALS WERE REMOVED, AND MAIN STREET (ALONG WITH FLAT, ELLIOT, AND HIGH) WAS TURNED INTO THE WORLD’S LARGEST SKATEBOARD PARK, DESIGNED BY STEVEN’S ASSOCIATES. 

THE FOLLOWING YEAR, NEWLY-ELECTED GOVERNOR PEYTON ANNOUNCED THE FORMATION OF THE STATE BANK OF VERMONT AND THE STATE’S RETURN TO THE GOLD STANDARD.   

THUS DID EVERYTHING END WELL, AND EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. 

»

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 #

IN THE YEAR 3013

It's comforting to know that, even 1,000 years in the future, codgers will still take to the innernets to make their very important points in ALL CAPS.

 
 #

But Back In Realityland

...the winning poll option so far has been to postpone the police/fire station project (13 votes) while raising taxes got only 2 votes.

My budget/tax question is this: are we going to have to deal with these kinds of tax, fee and cut questions every year forever? I think I know the answer to that but it makes me wonder what kind of town this will be in 10 years and whether many of us will be able to afford to stay here. Unless incomes go up proportionately, which would be nice in a pretty fantasy world that I'd love to live in...

 

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