AVON — Reversing the strong convictions they expressed a month ago, Avon Town Council members Tuesday decided not to put a property tax question on the upcoming ballot.
The tax question, which would raise money for recreational improvements in town, was first floated in November and defeated by fewer than 100 votes. The idea was to continue a decades-old tax which property owners will make their last payment on in December of 2015, and possibly add a little extra to that amount.
Instead, property owners in Avon will now see that tax drop off in 2016.
“We’ve had a steady tax increase ever since I moved to Wildridge, when my home was $1,400 a year,” said councilman Buz Reynolds. “It isn’t now, I’ll tell you that much.”
A month ago, the idea to put the tax extension on the ballot again in November of this year was met with widespread support among the council.
In between then and now, however, low participation numbers at open houses on the issue, and a realization that council turnover is going to be high in November, have given council members in Avon mixed feelings on the matter.
“This is just at the last second,” Mayor Rich Carroll said of his shifting opinions. “I’ve been supporting it, and I do think it’s a good idea ... but I think the next council should take this up and we should leave it up to them to decide. ... It pains me to say this.”
Mayor Pro Tem Jennie Fancher agreed.
“I think it would be best to hold off on this ballot issue another year or two,” she said.
BIG PROJECTS UNDERWAY
In November, Carroll, along with councilmen Dave Dantas and Chris Evans, will leave the Avon Town Council. On their list of accomplishments lie several million in projects currently under construction, including a $2 million pedestrian mall and a $2 million stage, which council members agreed was a lot for taxpayers to take in at the moment.
“We’re doing a lot of things right now,” Evans said. “And we have heard loud and clear from town staff that we need to focus on maintenance of our existing infrastructure.”
Councilman Jake Wolf was the lone dissenting voice on the tax continuation before it went to the ballot last year. He said the projects currently underway will create a better backdrop for a tax increase question later, when they’re in full use.
“I really feel that, with what we can generate with what we’re doing, we can get more for less money because we’ll have more in the coffers,” Wolf said.