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Office of Mayor Miro Weinberger

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Mayor Miro Weinberger

April 1, 2021

Neighbors – I am very hopeful about what’s ahead for Burlington. Our fight against Covid-19 isn’t over, and we must all remain vigilant in the final, critical weeks and months ahead. At the same time, though, the end of this pandemic is in sight, and we are receiving federal relief that will help us advance a robust and equitable economic recovery. This month, I’m writing to share more about those federal resources, our ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and some of what I’m focused on ahead.

Burlington Economic Recovery

This pandemic has been a public health crisis, and it’s also been an economic crisis. In March, the federal government passed the American Rescue Plan in order to help the country recover. The latest projections indicate that the City of Burlington will receive roughly $27 million from this plan over the course of the next year.

This is a tremendous relief. These federal resources ensure that we will able to restore necessary City services in Fiscal Year 2022 without having to seek new tax increases, even though local revenues are likely to remain significantly down over the next year. These resources also mean that the City will be able to continue to mount a vigorous public health response and that we will remain in sound fiscal health despite the losses of the past year.

In addition, critically, these resources ensure that the City will be a positive force leading the recovery out of the economic disruption of the last year and directly helping the Burlington households in and small businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.  Between now and June, I will work with the Board of Finance, the City Council and the public to make decisions about these funds through this Fiscal Year 2022 budget process. With the City Council we are developing principles to guide this great opportunity to emerge from the pandemic a stronger, healthier, greener, more racially just, and more affordable community.

Final Push to Contain the Virus

Even as we begin to plan for the recovery from this pandemic, we also are in a period where we must still work to stop the spread of the coronavirus. On March 26, the State reported the highest number of new daily cases both across Vermont and in Chittenden County.

We are too close to the end of the pandemic to have more tragedies. Please continue to practice crucial interventions. These include getting vaccinated as soon as you become eligible, avoiding groups and maintaining physical distance from those outside your household, following State restrictions on gathering with people outside your household who are not vaccinated, wearing face coverings, and getting tested frequently – especially after gathering with people outside our household or traveling outside of the state. We also can now take advantage of the nice weather by opening doors and windows to improve air circulation.

We must make a final push until everyone is vaccinated. That day is coming soon: by April 19, all Vermonters ages 16 and older will be able to sign up for an appointment to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. You can make an account and learn more at: www.healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine or by calling 855-722-7878.

Citywide Reappraisal

The City is wrapping up the Citywide reappraisal project that has been underway since 2018. The last Citywide reappraisal was conducted in 2005. Since then, the market values of properties have increasingly diverged from their 2005 assessed values in ways that are not even across Burlington. This has resulted in property valuations no longer being fair and equitably distributed across properties, neighborhoods, and property types. As a result, by Vermont Tax Department standards, the City is now required to undertake this Citywide reappraisal.

It’s important to note that the City’s Charter mandates that this reappraisal will be revenue neutral for City government. This means that though some people will owe more in taxes as a result of the reappraisal, others will owe less, and overall the City will not see any change in revenue.

On Thursday, April 8, the City Assessor’s Office will be mailing changes of property valuation notices. If you have questions or concerns, please call the City Assessor’s Office at (802) 865-7114, or visit the City website at: www.burlingtonvt.gov/Assessor.

What’s Ahead

I invite you to join me in the evening of Monday, April 5, when I will be delivering my annual State of the City address and sharing my reflections and goals for the year ahead. This will be the second time that I deliver my State of the City address virtually, and we will add viewing details to the City website soon at: www.burlingtonvt.gov/mayor. At that link you can also find information to join the virtual coffees that I hold over Zoom ever Wednesday morning from 8:00 – 9:00 am. As always, I invite you to join me then to share your thoughts about these topics or anything else.

Warmly,

Miro