Budget Documents

Budget Summary:

The Proposed FY25 Municipal Services Budget:  The proposed FY25 municipal services budget maintains the current level of town services and addresses: 1) additional resource needs in the Colchester Police Department due to having the highest rate of calls per officer of any department in Chittenden County; 2) expanding needs in public safety and other town departments to address increased cybersecurity threats, departmental specific software and network connectivity; 3) additional human resource staff to address a sustained higher rate of employee turnover due to societal changes; and 4) funding for the fourth full-time firefighter that was hired in June 2023 but not included in the FY24 budget.

With retirements and leadership changes in the Colchester Police Department, we took the opportunity to reassess the current and future needs of the Department.  The FY25 proposed budget includes additional resources to allow for a more efficient and effective way to manage staff while maximizing the time spent by sworn officers to actively engage in proactive community policing efforts and reduce the calls per officer in support of retaining and attracting police officers.

The decision to hire a Fire Chief that oversees both the fire and rescue departments provided an opportunity to reassess the most efficient and effective way to manage those resources while increasing collaboration among the public safety departments.

The tax impact of the municipal services budget, along with the previously approved capital items, is a 4.6% increase to municipal services property taxes. Examples of the impact are noted below:

Tax Increase

The Town Municipal Services Budget is comprised of twenty-five service areas. The planned expenditures for three of the service areas have been reduced, one remained the same and four increased by $5,000 or less.

Examples of increased costs for maintaining the same level of municipal services include:

  • Increased costs for Health Insurance:  +$122,817   
    • Health carrier raised its rates by 12%.
    • These costs would have been much higher had we not negotiated directly with multiple insurance companies.
  • Increased costs for new VT Childcare Tax:  +$27,681
    • This amount reflects the Town’s portion of this payroll tax at 0.33% on all employee wages.
  • Increased costs for Services & Utilities: +$88,382
    • $6,600 - due to increase in professional services for annually recurring fees for mapping software and computer-assisted appraisal.
    • $9,550 - due to increased costs for Planning & Zoning legal fees based on actuals.
    • $9,357 - increased costs in the Colchester Police Department for training, vehicle fuel and vendor contracts.
    • $5,900 – increased costs in the Colchester Fire Department for vehicle maintenance and fuel.
    • $20,064 - due to increased costs in DPW-Highway for utilities, including streetlights and tree maintenance costs for hazardous tree removal throughout the Town’s right-of-way.
    • $5,400 - due to increased maintenance costs for Town Hall for contracted services as well as building supplies and parts.
    • $17,866 - due to increased costs for contracted services and repairs, maintenance and fuel costs.
    • $5,400 - due to increased costs for fireworks as well as utilities and maintenance costs for the Activity Center.
    • $8,245 - Additional day of janitorial services for cleaning Meeting House due to increased public use and general building and maintenance needs.
  • Increased costs for Supplies & Parts: +$50,354
    • Primarily due to replacement of personal protective equipment (bunker gear) based on replacement schedule required by OSHA, as well as replacement of hose and special operations equipment.
    • $28,354 - due to increased costs in DPW-Highway for line striping, gravel, winter sand and salt.
  • Increased Fees for Public Transportation Services:  +$21,000
    • GMT ADA fees increased by $10,000 due to increased usage.
    • GMT services contracted to SSTA for elders and persons with disabilities increased by $11,000.

Increased costs, excluding new positions: $227,562 or 1.5% increase compared with FY24.

Tax Rate: The Town Municipal Services Budget and Capital Funding total $14,540,588 net of non-property tax revenues. With an estimated 1.02% growth in the Grand List, the estimated municipal services tax rate for FY 2025 is $0.6381. The tax rate is estimated to increase by $0.0282 (a little less than three cents per $100 of assessed property value) or a 4.63% increase over the prior year.

Tax Impact: 

FY25 Estimated Municipal Services Property Tax Impact

Tax Impact

Tax Increase Compared to FY24

Budget Document Links: