By Katy Savage
Killington’s first-quarter option tax was the largest in the town’s recorded history.
A total of $286,625 was collected from January to March, which is above the budgeted $215,600.
“We’ve had people tell us they’ve never written checks that big for the sales tax,” Killington Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth said. “They’re just that much busier right now. It’s a sign of how good the economy has been here.”
The 1% option tax has been collected on rooms and meals since 2008. Since then, it’s generated $3,483,911 in Killington. Last year’s option tax totaled $481,295 for all four quarters.
The town’s historic highs started in the second quarter of 2021, just as the economy started to reopen from the Covid-19 pandemic. Hagenbarth said the increased activity is a “silver lining” of the pandemic.
“Everyone’s in the outdoor sports (business) and they’re doing more,” he said.
All the option tax receipts go to the general fund.
Similarly, Rutland Town’s option tax is projected to collect $1.5 million this year, up from $1.2 million in average years.
Select Board chair Don Chioffi attributes the increase to online sales.
“It’s been a godsend to the town,”Chioffi said. “It’s managed to keep our tax rate very stable.”
Money from Rutland Town’s option tax goes toward the general budget and the police budget.
Chioffi said the option tax has saved the town around $11 million in tax collection since it was initiated back in April 2009.