• Homestead Act means more taxes
    July 21,2014
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    Homestead Act

    means more taxes

    Legislated with the best of intentions, the Vermont Homestead Act may be a contributing factor for the never-ending rise in local property taxes.

    In communities like Rutland where long-term home ownership has resulted in tax bills not in proportion to many salaries, helping lower income property home owners through transfer of funds from state revenues to local governments can be seen as a win-win for municipalities and tax payers.

    Keeping in mind the tax relief is imminent, do taxpayers and officials just keep passing higher budgets rather than finding other forms of income through investments or savings? I believe they do. For instance, a more equitable revenue stream would be statewide ad valorem tax (VAT in Europe or GST in Canada). VAT are taxes on finished goods and services paid by all consumers.

    Revenues collected on goods and services could be used to help municipalities cover their operating expenditures, eliminating the need for higher income property owners to carry the tax burden.

    For property owners who do not qualify for tax relief, Rutland is becoming an unattractive place to live. With high paying jobs at a premium, local politicians need to consider who they want living in their region.

    ANNE COBB

    Rutland
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