Monday, November 26, 2007
Let's make a deal
When it comes to horse-trading those Vermonters surpass us country bumpkins. Take the new five-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes deal just signed between Burlington and the University of Vermont, as compared to our miserly “strategic agreement” with Umass, Amherst.
This year the University of Vermont will pay host city Burlington $456,000; next year $600,000 and $912,000 in 2010 simply for fire protection. The agreement also calls for a closer working relationship between the police forces of the city and University that may result in joint patrols of neighborhoods bordering the University.
The pact also generates additional payments of $180,000 for public works impacts.
Thus, in 2010 the University of Vermont (9,000 undergrads, 1,350 grad students) will pay Burlington (population 39,000 with one-third of all property tax exempt) $1,100,000 over TWICE what the University of Massachusetts (20,000 undergrads, 5,000 grad students) will pay Amherst (population 34,000, with one-half of all property tax exempt).
Of course Burlington, although not much bigger than the People’s Republic of Amherst, is a city with a more efficient Mayor/Council form of government. And when it comes to negotiations, a Mayor makes all the difference.