KILLINGTON, Vt. -- Only a year after generating publicity for voting to secede and join New Hampshire, residents of this ski town are being asked to decide on town meeting day whether to rethink the idea.
"It's been a year, so it seemed like a good time to update people about where we stand and to bring the issue up again in a substantive way," Town Manager David Lewis said. "It seemed appropriate to tie it in with a vote at Town Meeting to give the voters the ability to say, 'We don't want to go any further.' "
Although Lewis and the board want to be responsive to voters, they don't have much fear that their efforts to date will be overturned.
"The board supports continuing, and they feel that it's been generally positive both inside Vermont and outside," he said. "We fully expect the voters will not tell us to discontinue, but it is something the voters can do."
Otto Iannantuoni, an innkeeper in town who has marshaled opposition to secession, hopes that this town meeting will mark the end of Killington's quest. To secede, Killington would have to get approval from both state legislatures and Congress.
"Hopefully, we can put this to rest," Iannantuoni said. "It's important, really, to stop what I feel is a bunch of foolishness and get on the right track."
Iannantuoni organized a petition last year urging the town to hold another vote on the secession. That effort failed, in part because it came long after the 30-day window to challenge a town meeting vote had elapsed.
This year, Iannantuoni and six others are working to make sure that the secession revote is cast by paper ballot.
State taxes, however, are expected to make residents unhappy. The town budget is slated to increase by 1 percent and elementary school spending by 0.14 percent. But because of how the state measures the value of properties in town compared with their appraised values, property taxes will rise significantly.
Lewis estimated property taxes on businesses and second homes would increase by at least 10 cents per $100 assessed value. The residential property tax rate could increase by 16 cents per $100 assessed value, he said.