5-22-14 – Vermonters Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet

by Dick Tracy

Originally appearing in Valley News.

To the Editor:

In the front-page story “Shumlin: Session a Success,” Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin claims that the Legislature “focused on issues that are going to … lift up the middle class, working Vermonters, working families …”. Somehow Shumlin ignores that fact that spending bill H.885 “supported general fund spending for fiscal year 2015 of $1.4 billion, a 5.5 percent increase ($88 million) over the original fiscal year 2014 budget of $1.36 billion as passed in 2013” (figures courtesy of the Ethan Allen Institute).

Who among us expects to get a 5.5 percent pay increase next year?

GOP Vermont House candidate Corey Parent recently wrote in the St. Albans Messenger that during the just-concluded two-year session, the House voted to increase property taxes by a combined $94.5 million, voted for $27 million in miscellaneous tax increases and for $21.8 million in gas tax increases. That’s more than $140 million in tax increases in two years, $140 million that “working families” won’t have to pay for basic commodities or for purchases at local merchants. That’s $140 million “working Vermonters” won’t have as they try to save for retirement, children’s education or hard times.

Far from the success that Shumlin boasts of, Vermonters who are struggling just to make ends meet — Vermonters who are finding their state to be increasingly unaffordable — will eventually discover that the 2013-14 session only worsened their circumstances.

Dick Tracy


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ALA May 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm

There have been no raises in the last two years where I work. However, gas has gone up and the 90 mi/day commute has become an obstacle course. Everything – groceries, gas, insurance, property taxes, electric, oil, propane – had gone up. I not only have no “disposable income”, every time something happens – car needs an oil change, lawn mower died, shingles blow off the roof – I go a little further in the hole. I hope and pray the newly installed smart meter (even though I opted out – GMP does what they want) burns my house to the ground so I can get the hell out of Vermont.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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