ICYMI: Property Taxes Have Skyrocketed Under Democratic Leadership
Berlin, VT – Over the past twenty years, property taxes and education spending have gone through the roof for Vermonters while the quality of education has remained roughly the same, according to University of Vermont economist and Burlington Free Press columnist Art Woolf.
Woolf states that, “When Act 60 took effect Vermont spent 12 percent more than the average state to educate each student in our schools. Fifteen years later we were spending 60 percent more than average and today the gap might be as high as 80 percent. Despite this high level of spending my analysis of the evidence shows that Vermont students don’t perform any better than their peers nationally.”
For almost every single biennium since Act 60 was passed, the Democratic majority in Montpelier has controlled both chambers of the Vermont Legislature. They’ve ignored opportunity after opportunity to achieve common-sense savings and lower property taxes for Vermonters.
Just this past week, Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson cast a vote that halted Governor Scott’s proposal to save Vermont taxpayers $26 million annually in education costs, without making teachers pay more or cutting services to kids. Despite the proposal’s tri-partisan support, Johnson and the majority of Democrats in Montpelier demonstrated that their loyalty lies with lobbyists and special interests, rather than with Vermonters grappling with the crisis of affordability.
However, Woolf also points out a silver lining: “Governor Phil Scott seems to have secured a major victory with an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature: A balanced budget with no tax increases.” It’s due to the hard work of Governor Scott and Republican legislators that we have a budget on the table that doesn’t raise taxes or fees on Vermonters for the first time in decades.
But there is still more work to be done. We need to secure property tax relief for struggling Vermonters. And there’s still time to do it.
YOU can help by contacting your lawmakers and calling on them to support Governor Scott’s common-sense plan to lower property taxes by $26 million annually.
Governor Scott and Republican lawmakers have bucked the status quo in Montpelier by championing legislation to make Vermont affordable and expand economic opportunities without raising taxes. Let’s help them finish the job.
To read Art Woolf’s full column in the Burlington Free Press, click here.