Let's do a little exercise called "Follow the Money."
In a Times Argus news story which appeared in several papers last week, there was an update on the recent shenanigans of the Vermont Economic Progress Council and their latest reverse-Robin Hood good deed. It now appears that the Council has voted unanimously to approve funding for a "Tax Incremental Finance District," or TIF, for a few lucky winners in Montpelier. What the TIF does is to "... help reduce costs for developers interested in building in the city."
And what is the source of this largesse? Well now, it turns out "The TIF uses education property taxes to fund infrastructure projects ..." which, in this case, support the developers of a new hotel and parking garage for the Capital City.
Let us not mince words here. This amounts to stealing from the Education Property Tax Fund and therefore, every property owner who has paid into it.
Many years ago, when Act 60, the statewide property tax legislation, was passed, there were a few of us who prophesied that the only thing you could guarantee with a statewide property tax was that it would go up, and once the powers that be managed to pry open Pandora's Box and start to siphon it off for other uses, it would go up exponentially. By continuing to rely on that cookie jar known as the education property tax, we have now arrived at that exact moment.David M. Clark Westminster, Vt