Why Pick Vermont?

February 5, 2019

by Rob Roper

The Wall Street Journal ran a story about New York’s $2 billion plus budget shortfall. New York’s Governor Cuomo blamed the predicament on, “wealthy individuals living in these areas were either moving or shifting their official residence to lower-tax states, causing the shortfall.” This actually presents an opportunity for Vermont, but it would require our legislators to reshape our state as an attractive tax landscape for these individuals rather than an out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire option.

Vermont, with our natural beauty and stellar quality of life should be an attractive landing spot for mobile, high income retirees. It isn’t to the extent is could be because currently…

  • 37 states do not tax social security benefits. Vermont does. (Source)
  • 33 states have no estate or inheritance tax. Vermont does. (Source)
  • 9 states have no income tax (like our neighbor to the east). Vermont does. (Source)
  • 44 states have a lower marginal maximum income tax rate than VT (Source)
  • Only 8 states have higher property tax rates than VT (Source)

So, if you’re looking for a place to move and live on a fixed income, while at the stage of planning to pass your assets on to your children, what incentive(s) does Vermont offer? If we don’t change our tax policies we will not only find that we can’t attract high asset retirees, but we will neither be able to retain our own. And, like New York, we will find ourselves wondering where our revenue has gone.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Ed Donnis February 5, 2019 at 6:47 pm

Yes. Tax policies need change to be competitive. Tax incentatives not outright cash incentatives, should be enacted.

Another incentative is to welcome Pro Life advocates. Unlike New York, where the governor recently stated that Pro-Lifers are not welcome, Vermont should welcome them and be the state that is truly inclusive as progressives liberals profess to be. Of course the abortion law would have to remain unchanged.


George February 5, 2019 at 6:52 pm

And our state government is oblivious to the situation. Property tax is the absolute head of the snake. Nearly 80 percent of my property tax goes to ACT 60..this is NOT sustainable, our municipal has finally added another perspective 13 percent increase after three years of level funding.. we continue to die by a thousand cuts…it’s not just the rich that will not find Vermont attractive.


Karen Gallese February 6, 2019 at 12:03 am

Vermont also taxes teacher pensions. I spent my career teaching in Massachusetts. If I lived in Massachusetts I would not have to pay a tax. Because I live in Vermont, I’m taxed. Many teachers like along the boarder of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. We have tried to change this situation to no avail.


Capngeo February 6, 2019 at 4:28 am

I’m retired and barely making ends meet in VT, not only are the property tax and income tax high,… I’ve recently learned that the state is not allowing tax deductions for mortgage interest, property tax, charitable contributions medical care expenses and they also will tax my social security income! I’m wishing we could stay here with our friends and family , but we( and several other retired friends) are exploring the options in other lis tax states…. Retirees dont COST the state !.. Vermont should be courting this group, it would bring many benefits to the state.


Sbarrows February 6, 2019 at 2:55 pm

20 states don’t tax military retirement income. Vermont does.


Bob Dorper February 6, 2019 at 9:44 pm

I think taxes were too high so I left Vermont for Florida. Life is great down here. I think the rest of the old rich people complaining about Vermont should join us smart folk in Florida and MAGA.


Deanne February 8, 2019 at 10:55 pm

This past summer I worked for two couples in N. H. who moved here from Vermont. Both said the taxes were too burdensome in Vermont. One couple had a home on a fifth of an acre in a Vermont side of the Connecticut River town where they paid about the same amount of taxes as they now pay for seven acres with a large house, a large barn, and a cabin in the woods in a N. H. side of the Connecticut River town. These couples are what I would call above average as far as lifestyle, but Vermont lost them due to oppressive taxes.

Things will not change in Vermont until/unless people decide to start taking responsibility for themselves and stop asking/demanding that the government do everything for them.


Hot Skillet February 8, 2019 at 11:40 pm

I left Vt 10 years a go. Moved to a town in Mississippi.
I pay no real estate tax because I bought a house below their accessed value to tax.
no, military tax, no ss tax, cheap food stores, no communistic feeling government goons.
Its the poorest state , but rich in old values.


mike February 9, 2019 at 1:40 pm

Rob, You make an excellent case. Unfortunately, the folks in Montpelier spend all their time finding new ways to tax and spend, and they are blind to its impact on the cost of livinging in Vermont. Then they wonder where everyone went and why the young folks never return after getting an out-of-state education. Keep up the good fight.


C B February 10, 2019 at 4:49 pm

To resolve to create a State which attracts all sorts of people including retirees, and the wealthy requires the willing suspension of Progressive ideals and that’s never gunna happen. If this were possible, Detroit Socialists would have been capable of reading the hand writing on the wall before one of the greatest cities of the USA was decimated.


tomtre February 11, 2019 at 5:01 pm

With all the windmills and solar panel Vermont has lost a lot of its beauty.


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