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To The Editor:
This letter is addressed to the Vermont Legislature.
The Vermont Supreme Court has affirmed that the property tax is unconstitutional because appraisals are inaccurate resulting in disproportional taxation. The tax system is also unconstitutional because it does not tax members of society based upon wealth.
The Ways and Means committee was provided with a report last year that gives examples of how the legislature at the time of our founding fathers transitioned into statutes the constitutional elements necessary for constitutional taxation of Vermonters.
Every member of our society is required to be taxed proportionately according to wealth.
Please follow the affirmation of the Vermont Supreme Court (96-627) and bring our tax system into constitutional compliance.
From the Brigham decision:
"The Education Clause is also instructive in what it does not provide. Although it requires that a school be maintained in each town unless the Legislature permits otherwise, it is silent on the means of their support and funding. The Legislature has implemented the education clause by authorizing school districts to raise revenue through local property taxes. But neither this method, nor any other means of financing public education, is constitutionally mandated. Public education is a constitutional obligation of the State; funding of education through locally-imposed property taxes is not."
People have been denied a constitutional means of paying for education since the Vermont Supreme Court decision Brigham, 2/5/97, that first identified problems with equal educational opportunity due to funding and Act 60, 6/26/97, was created as a remedy only to be followed by a Supreme Court decision Brueckner v. Town of Moretown, 7/31/98, affirming unconstitutional taxation was still inherent to the Vermont tax system.
The Constitution requires every member of society to be taxed proportionately according to wealth for the protection of rights.
Taxation is an inherent, natural, unalienable declared Constitutional right of the people which is ordered not to be violated on any pretense whatsoever. Protecting the rights and privileges of the people according to the Constitution is an obligation of the legislature.
Examples of the 1797 Laws demonstrating the constitutional form of taxation, the historic Property Tax, were provided as reference to last year's House Ways and Means Committee, the speaker and Waterbury representatives. The Acts and Laws of 1797 can also be reference in the Green Room of the law library. Transition to the Constitutional form of taxation should take no longer than the five months from Brigham to the implantation of Act 60.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.