Last week I reviewed the new book by physicist Steven Koonin entitled Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, in which he explains how most of what you hear about climate science is, to put it mildly, exaggerated or insupportable.
Steve Klein of the Joint Fiscal Office briefed the Pension and Benefits Task Force, which is looking into how to fix the state’s $6 billion unfunded pension liabilities, on the current state budget as well as impending budget pressures in the pipeline. Klein’s slide show revealed a frightening increase in spending with daunting implications for Vermont taxpayers.
Drew Cline of the Josiah Bartlett Center in New Hampshire noted that New Hampshire’s Business Profits Tax rate was 8.5% in 2015, making it the third-highest corporate income tax in New England, after Maine and Connecticut.
At the July 26 meeting of the Vermont Climate Council, member Richard Cowart raised what he admitted might be “a thorny question.” Thorny or not, it was a very good one. It illustrates very clearly how government interventions in the free market, using carrots and sticks to influence people’s behavior in singular, predetermined ways can lead to disastrous conclusions.
Everybody from President Biden down to Gov. Scott is busy promoting electric cars as the major means of cutting down the 43% of Carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector. California wants all cars on the road to be electric by 2035.
A headline in VT Digger declares “Vermont wages well behind cost of rent, national study details.” First question: did we really need a study to tell us that? When politicians run on the issue of “affordability” at the top of the list of unaffordable items is housing. When companies say they have a hard time recruiting workers to come to Vermont, the obstacle usually at the top of the list is a lack of affordable housing for the potential employee.
I’m a believer in legislative bodies making reports to the citizens of what they have wrought in their just completed session. But last month’s report from Senate majority leader Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor Co.), struck me, in at least one important aspect, as indefensibly inflating two miniscule accomplishments.
Vermont has the 4th highest property tax rate in the country, at 1.76%, according to research from the Tax Foundation. We are second only to New Hampshire among the New England states, which has a property tax rate of 1.89% (New Hampshire however, has no income tax and no sales tax). We are one of only 4 states which don’t have place limitations on property tax hikes. Hawaii, New Hampshire and Tennessee are the others.