VLCT 2021-2022 Municipal Priorities
Relied upon as trusted partners with the state especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, local governments are taking the lead in advancing innovative governance practices and responding to their constituents’ needs. The Municipal Priorities guide VLCT Advocacy staff and the VLCT Board of Directors in effectively advocating for VLCT members. In Vermont, where local government resources and innovation are severely constrained, cities and towns need the authority, flexibility, and funding to meet today’s challenges.
The VLCT Board of Directors adopted additional priorities for the 2022 legislative session during its November 4, 2021 meeting. Amendments to the language of the 2021-2022 Municipal Priorities are highlighted.
- Committing funding and reforming regulatory tools to enable the construction and rehabilitation of “missing middle” and affordable housing;
- Implementing policies that empower municipalities to reduce emissions, plan for and increase resiliency to the effects of climate change, and transition to communities powered and sustained by cleaner energy; 2. reducing the consumption of fossil fuels;
- Revising statutes to grant municipalities authority through ordinances to address issues that are solely local in nature;
- Sustained funding and incentives to implement all mandated programs;
- Establishing a state environmental justice policy and granting municipal authority to take meaningful action to eliminate racial disparities, and to ensure equity, fairness, and systemic change;
- Legislation reforming Vermont’s income, sales, cannabis, and property taxes to ensure sustainability, economic recovery, a stabilized cost of living, and equity, particularly as those attributes relate to property taxes’ contribution to the Education Fund;
- Providing authority, tools, and funding to local officials in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents and communities;
- Providing the technology, authority, training, and funding to ensure fair, equitable, and impartial delivery of law enforcement that builds trust and legitimacy in communities including among minority groups;
- Eliminating Act 250 jurisdiction over projects in designated downtowns, growth centers, new town centers, designated village centers, and neighborhood development areas;
- Augmented funding to support extension of the VLCT ARPA Assistance and Coordination Program through 2027;
- Supporting the state’s successful Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Program and implementing a project-based TIF accessible to smaller communities;
- No-risk funding that pays for project development to implement mandates such as Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permits, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), combined sewer systems. and Municipal Road General Permits (MRGPs), clean water, and drinking water.
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