Gov Scott Thin on Specifics in Annual Budget Address

Governor Phil Scott presented his annual Budget Address for the second time on Tuesday, laying out his vision for spending $3.86 billion. His budget director referred to it as a “no-frills” event – we couldn’t agree more.  It was light on specifics particularly as it relates to cutting property taxes.

This year’s state budget increases spending by $82 million or 2.3% over last year. Three weeks ago, in his State of the State Address, Governor Scott promised no increases in taxes or fees, including property taxes. But in his Budget Address this week he failed to provide specifics on how he would avoid a property tax increase. Instead, he placed this responsibility on the Legislature.

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2018 Blog Series: Why Your Property Taxes are Going up

Last week was Governor Scott’s State of the State Address, which seemed to be well received be legislators and commentators on both sides of the isle. However, a few things jumped out at me, one of which was the Governor’s hold-the-line stance on statewide property taxes. Historically, this is difficult to promise. Despite having a statewide system, Vermont property taxes are quite complex in how they impact Vermonters’ actual tax bills.

We actually have three statewide tax rates: residential, income-sensitized, and non-residential. Both the residential and income-sensitized rates are applied to a local multiplier (which is determined by a district’s per pupil spending) while non-residential is a flat statewide rate. To make this even more tricky, the local multiplier that effects residential and income-sensitized rates is calculated using a statewide base that is set by the Legislature. Complicated, isn’t it?

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Ethics Commission Gets to Work

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on January 12, 2018. Subscribe!WCAX_Brian_Levin_Interview_Cropped.jpg

“It’s a first step. Vermont was one of the last states to enact a state ethics commission, so it’s an important first step to establish it and give it some essential functions.”

-Brian Leven, Executive Director, VT State Ethics Commission

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What does prosperity mean to you?

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 31, 2017. Subscribe!

Dear Friends,

What does prosperity mean to you?

For some it may be being able to go on a yearly vacation or purchasing the newest iPhone. For others it may be having enough left over to invest in college savings, or your retirement account. And for some it may mean not worrying that an unexpected car repair could use up what little savings they have, or that they won’t receive harassing calls from bill collectors at all hours of the day and night.

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What is $2,000 to your family?

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 29, 2017. Subscribe!

Friends --

What does $2000 mean for your family? Putting off an important dental procedure? Not being able to invest in your child’s college fund or send them to summer camp? Skipping vital home repairs? Not being able to travel to see family and friends? Perhaps it’s having to choose between being able to set the thermostat above 58 all winter, or eat nothing but rice and chicken until the snow thaws.

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How much more will it cost you to live in VT?

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 28, 2017. Subscribe!

 

Fellow Vermonters,

How much more will it cost you to live in our great state next year?  Let’s take a look at what happened in 2017.

August: Vermonters receive news that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBS-VT) insurance premiums will rise 9.2%, the largest increase ever. For a standard family silver level plan, this means an increase of nearly $113 per month, or $1,352 per year.

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2018 Blog Series - More Out of Your Pocket

December 28, 2017

 

Fellow Vermonters,

I am sure that, like me, you are somewhat relieved in leaving 2017 behind us. The level of political turmoil and uncertainty about big issues like health care and income taxes has been exhausting. However, there may be cause for even more apprehension heading into 2018.

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Vermont's High Cost of Living is Only Getting Higher

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 28, 2017. Subscribe!

Dear Friends,

empty_classroom_-_small.jpgVermont has lost 20,000 students over the past two decades, with little change to the number of teachers, staff and administrators. Governor Scott recently announced Vermonters can expect another property tax increase to the tune of 7 percent or more. New school mergers promise little in the way of savings.

Simply put, our education funding system is pricing Vermonters out of the state and it’s unacceptable.

What is the solution? Decreasing costs is proving complicated and less than effective. Just look at Act 46 as an example, which shows no sign of proving its value.

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Our resolution: Ethics, transparency and accountability

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 22, 2017. Subscribe!

 

Friends --

Since 2011, Campaign for Vermont has been advocating for public policies that set our state along a path to prosperity - from ethics, transparency, and accountability to general fund budgeting and taxation!

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Update: Rising Property Taxes

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on December 16, 2017. Subscribe!

Friends,

Last month, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced that property taxes are increasing 9.4 cents in 2018, about a 7 percent increase. The average family with a $200,000 house will see an increase of $188 on their property tax bill. Act 46, the so-called education equality act, has not lived up to its promise to reduce statewide property taxes or reduce overall spending on education in Vermont It’s time to admit this and move on.

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