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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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What goes 'round comes 'round


To The Editor:
We're now asked to approve $17 million in bonds for sewer and water projects. As Brooke Cunningham's letter last week proved, both projects deserve much more scrutiny and discussion before going forward. One thing is clear, however, the town has not demonstrated a positive cost/benefit analysis.

But there is another problem. Last year, I and other taxpayers presented the select board, led by Elwin Neill at the time, with irrefutable evidence that probable cause existed to believe that the recent property reappraisal was flawed and should be reviewed by an independent auditor. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, upon hearing the same evidence, had concluded the reappraisal "was either incompetent or worse."

The select board, however, seemed annoyed, defending the process and those who had conducted it. When we pointed out that it was their job to represent the town's taxpayers, rather than their hired assessors, Mr. Neill shrugged. "We think it's good enough," he concluded, and that was that. Now they ask us to pay more taxes for their $17 million bonds. Well, what goes 'round comes 'round.  They'll not get my vote. Perhaps there should be a moratorium on all budget increases until the property tax fiasco is properly investigated. Montpelierites, faced with a similar debacle, forced their town to conduct a new appraisal. This town should take a lesson from their activism.
Jim Tabor


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