Op-Ed

Critical Race Theory & Opportunity Over Equity

For those Vermonters who are concerned about the inclusion of critical race theory in our public schools , there’s some heartening news from Virginia. That state’s newly elected Republican governor Glenn Youngkin followed through on his winning campaign promise to push back against the coercion of progressive mandates and control of schools. The Wall Street Read More…

Energy Property Rights Tax Land

A Potentially Deadly Consequence Of The Clean Heat Standard

Many of the businesses that deliver fossil-based heating fuels (oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene) in Vermont are small, mom & pop operations. Some, as describe by Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, are just one person “with a truck and a cell phone.” These companies exist on the margins of financial viability. The Read More…

Energy Op-Ed

“Propane Protection Laws” Will Go Away When Propane Does

An article in VT Digger today trumpets, “Attorney general reminds Vermonters of propane protection laws as snow, cold continue.” In Vermont, propane fuel dealers are required by law to deliver to customers, even if the customer isn’t up to date with paying all their past bills. We don’t let people freeze to death – if you Read More…

Op-Ed

Many young Vermonters unaware of Holocaust

January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. According to a 2020 study from the Claims Conference, an alarming number of individuals from age 18 to 39 know little about the Holocaust, and young Vermonters are little different in this regard. The Claims Conference has advocated for Jewish Holocaust survivors since 1951, distributing $90 billion in Read More…

Be Informed Statehouse

Single Member Legislative Districts For Vermont?

This year, the tri-partisan Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB) recommended that the Vermont legislature re-draw house and senate district boundaries (we do this every ten years following the census) so that there would be 150 single member house districts and 30 single member senate districts. This would be a change from Vermont’s current mishmash of one- Read More…

Be Informed Statehouse Tax Land

VT Senators Ponder SALES TAX ON SERVICES

Six months ago, the Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission recommended expanding Vermont’s “sales tax base to all consumer-level purchases of goods and services except healthcare and casual consumer-to-consumer transactions” while reduce the sales tax rate to 3.6%.* Given the chance to consider the proposal, one senator appeared especially eager to consider the proposal. The idea Read More…

Business & Economics Energy

STICKER SHOCK! $2.2 Billion Requested For “GREEN” Electricity Infrastructure

As the legislature takes up the Climate Action Plan’s recommendation to electrify pretty much everything in Vermont by the year 2050, including home/business heating and transportation, a big question is how are we supposed to create and deliver enough electricity to actually do that. And, of course, how much might it cost. Testimony to this issue Read More…

Business & Economics Statehouse Tax Land

The Peril of the Federal Billions

 On January 5 Gov. Phil Scott delivered an upbeat State of the State message. He declared that though Vermont has many unmet needs  –  his leading example was a “desperate need for more people and workers.” – “anything is possible”. Why is anything possible? “Thanks to the work of our Congressional Delegation – especially Senator Read More…

Be Informed Hot! Statehouse Tax Land

NEW Gas-Powered Car TAX Just For You!

The House Transportation Committee is about to take up H.552 – An act relating to transportation initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, which would, among other things, impose new taxes (or fines, depending upon how you look at it) on vehicles that get less than 24 miles per gallon of gasoline or diesel. These “efficiency fees”, that’s Read More…

Education Tax Land

Act 46 School Choice “Mega-District” Enjoys Lower Budgets and Lower Property Taxes

By Rob Roper Act 46, the mandatory school district consolidation bill passed in 2015, was sold with the promise that it would lower the cost public education in Vermont. It has not lived up to that promise (get ready for a massive property tax increase) with one very interesting exception: The Northeast Kingdom School Choice Read More…

Property Rights

♪ This Land Ain’t Your Land ♫

Nine proposed constitutional amendments, some of them far reaching, have been introduced in the Vermont Senate. One in particular stands out as a mortal threat to fundamental Vermont principles. That is Proposal 9, with fifteen co-sponsors:  “to provide that the citizens of the State have a right to a clean environment.” This new right would Read More…

Business & Economics Education Tax Land

Who Should Pay for Vermont’s Pension Crisis?

By Rob Roper Vermont now has a $4.5 billion unfunded public pension liability for teachers and municipal workers. The politicians who created this problem are slow (stationary, actually) to take up the task of fixing this because the numbers are huge and telling someone they’re going to have to suck it up and pay does Read More…

Energy Statehouse

With TCI Imploding, A Worse Bill Is on the Horizon

Before the 2020 legislative session kicked off, proponents of the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) were calling the interstate agreement to raise prices of gasoline and diesel by as much as 17¢ a gallon their “banner” legislation for the new year. Now, just half way through January, the scheme is unravelling at a rapid pace. The Read More…

Business & Economics Op-Ed

Act 250 and the Perfect Climate Conscious State

In January 2019 the commission to review and update Act 250 presented a well written report. Its recommendations are now the subject of 94-page bill (H.926) to dramatically reshape the state’s land use and development act. On the plus side, in light of its 50 years in force, Act 250 was certainly due, or overdue, Read More…