BURLINGTON – In an effort to increase revenue without having to build more property, the city of Burlington has decided to begin assessing property taxes on the engraved granite bricks that can be found scattered throughout the Church Street Marketplace. The taxes will be levied against the individual or individuals who purchased the bricks, and not necessarily on whomever is named on the brick itself.
The city has been faced with budget issues recently, as most of Burlington’s downtown is a gaping Hellmouth. This, coupled with residents’ inability to approve of new construction of any kind, has led to city management seeking more creative solutions for increasing tax revenue.
“It’s technically property, isn’t it?” said city counselor Eve Ceiling. “And it’s prime downtown real estate that people are buying up and not paying for! We’re only doing the fair thing here. And, let’s be honest, if you only bought one brick this isn’t going to cost you more than a couple of thousand dollars a year. Not really a big deal.”
Brick owners are outraged over the new tax, and claim that they only purchased the bricks, and not the land underneath the decorative markers. The Church Street Marketplace is a privately held area, so someone already owns, and is presumably paying taxes on, all of the land under the bricks.
“Yes, we are receiving taxes for the land under the bricks,” Ceiling confirmed, “but just because something is above something else doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay taxes. It’s not like people on the second floor of a building don’t have to pay their condo fees. Sounds to me like people are just trying to get out of paying their fair share of the brick tax.”