Avon building tax delayed … again
Town Council members are scrambling to find more money to boost Avon’s faltering finances, and some want residents to vote on charging a 4 percent tax on all building supplies used in Avon.
The Town Council was expected to vote Tuesday night whether to put the “use tax” on the ballot. The vote was postponed when one council member had to leave town to tend to a family emergency. Town Manager Bill Efting said council members did not want to vote on the somewhat controversial use tax without having all seven of it members present.
A builder would pay the use tax when he or she applies for a building permit. The town building official assesses the total cost of the work and assumes that 50 percent of that will be spent on building materials, Avon Finance Director Scott Wright has said.
The builder then pays 4 percent of that 50 percent and gets a receipt from the town showing he or she has paid the tax. When the builder goes to buy materials, the builder shows the receipt when paying for them and is exempt from any local sales tax, Wright said.
The use tax could generate as much as $600,000 a year, Wright said.
But builders aren’t so sure.
Town Council was going to vote on the use tax on July 23 but postponed the decision because the town’s lawyer had not yet figured out how the tax would apply to the Village at Avon shopping complex, currently under construction.
Last summer, council members rejected the idea of putting the idea on the ballot but, a year later, town officials are warning that without more money, fees for buses and the Avon Recreation Center may have to be increased and municipal services cut.
“Another town’s getting the tax, but we’re getting the impact,” Councilman Brian Sipes has said in support of the use tax.
Several builders who showed up at the July 23 meeting blasted the use tax proposal, saying the town was singling out developers.
“I think the town’s going after a specific type of business and not going after other businesses,” builder Dave Dantas said. “We’re struggling too. There are not a lot of sales going on.”