Woodstock voters to decide on option tax

By Katy Savage

Woodstock residents will decide on an $8.02 million budget on Town Meeting Day March 5, of which $6.6 million is to be raised from taxes. The budget is up about 4% from last year and expected to increase taxes about 6%.

Voters will also decide on a 1% option tax. The tax would add 1% to the state’s existing 6% sales tax and would apply to any purchases made in town or online.

The option tax was narrowly defeated 426-417 on Town Meeting Day in 2022.

Proponents of the tax say it would collect money for the town to use on future development projects, while others say the tax could deter shoppers.

Board seats

While there are no contested Select Board seats, Laura Powell and Scott Smith are competing for a one-year term on the School Board.

Powell, an active volunteer and current Select Board member, is not seeking reelection for Select Board. Powell also serves on the planning commission.

Smith is the owner of Red Wagon Toy Company in Woodstock.

Jill Davies, an active volunteer and founder of the Woodstock Community Trust and Lauren Thompson, the controller at Woodstock Inn and Resort, are competing for a three-year trustee of public funds seat.

Potential costs ahead

Two other big-budget items could impact Woodstock taxpayers later this year. The wastewater treatment plant, which dates back to the 1960s, is deteriorating, and a bond to repair it could cost around $25 million.

Voters could also decide to purchase the privately owned Woodstock Aqueduct Company.

The aqueduct company, which serves nearly 800 customers in Woodstock, currently has water pressure issues that have slowed development in town and impacted fire hydrants.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!