Help the BBA show why Burlington is the BEST. We’ll be showcasing all great things BTV, from arts & entertainment venues, event tickets and hotel stays to clothing, jewelry, restaurant certificates and more!
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The State of Vermont has over $1billion in current liability for both pensions and healthcare coverage for pensions. The City of Burlington’s liability is more than $60 million. Both liability burdens are roughly equal to annual budgets for both the state and city.
At its July 30th Breakfast with the Board event, members of the Burlington Business Association met to discuss unfunded pension liabilities.
How will this affect the City of Burlington and it’s business owners?
Mayor Miro Weinberger said last fall at the “summit” the problem threatens the heart of the city’s success.
“In 2000 city tax payers contributed about $43,000 toward the retirement of city employees. In a little more than a decade public contributions exceeded $7.5 million – almost 175 times the cost in 2000. And still the pension is underfunded by $58 million, and the amount is growing, even though the city has met its contribution goals almost every year,” writes Hilary Niles in a VT Digger article, Burlington Struggles with Underfunded Pension.
What does this mean for the Burlington Business Association?
As advocates for business owners in the City of Burlington (and beyond), the BBA recognizes that failure to address the pension crisis will impact the city’s fiscal health. Here is the feedback we gathered from Wednesday’s Breakfast with the Board:
We cannot keep promising to pay, without having the funds to do so. Jane Knodell said, “we cannot keep doing this – there needs to be public outcry.”
“Someone needs to take the lead.” Said Pat Burns of City Market.
Leslie McKenzie suggested the need for transparency. “We don’t have the knowledge as voters. We need to encourage more people to be part of the conversation.”
The BBA is evaluating whether and how to take a lead on moving this conversation forward and reaching solutions. Let us know your thoughts. The BBA wants to hear how we can help you to better understand and learn of the City’s pension crisis. E-mail Kelly Devine at email@example.com.
The Burlington Business Association is moving parking forward. This fall our parking reform plan will take a big step forward. Our partners at the Burlington Department of Public Works have placed an order for 310 smart parking meters for our downtown. Those meters will also see a rate increase from $1 to $1.5 per hour. And you can park at them for as long as you’d like.
It has been an exciting month for Burlington. Plenty of forward movement on key projects for the BBA and its members. In addition to our work on parking, waterfront development and unfunded pension liability, the BBA has worked to move the following forward this month.
The fun continues after the Burlington Business Association’s annual dinner. Mary Kehoe was able to take advantage of one of the many incredible auction items this year; the Chef-to-Table Dinner! Master Chef Herve Mahe of the Hilton Burlington created a four-course, fine dining experience for the auction winner and her guests and was kind enough to share the experience with us.