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To The Editor:
I have just put my check in the mail for my Fayston real estate taxes. The 16.6 percent increase in the taxes this year is shocking. In five years the taxes on my property have risen an astounding 61.7 percent!
I have a home in Marblehead, MA, valued at twice as much as my Fayston home yet my tax bill is 25 percent less than Fayston's. In Marblehead I have my garbage picked up weekly. During the winter my street is plowed, sanded and salted if necessary. During the other three seasons my street is swept regularly. The town maintains a dump where I can dispose of larger items. Two times a year there is an opportunity to get rid of oil-based paints and other hazardous materials. All these services and some others not itemized here are provided at no additional cost to me. They are paid for through my real estate taxes.
In Fayston, I receive no services from the town. I have no children in the schools. I pay privately for my plowing, road maintenance and trash disposal. I have my own well and septic system. To add insult to injury, as a non-resident, my tax rate is higher than that of the locals.
I have owned my Vermont home for over 40 years and have been coming to the Mad River Valley for almost 60 years. My income is now limited, as is the case for many older citizens. My Vermont experience has been one of many pleasant memories and friends. I would think that non-residents, who do not require a lot of local services, would be more welcomed. Unequal tax rate assessments and huge tax bills make me think otherwise. I suspect there are others like me who are seriously considering severing ties with Vermont. This realization fills me with sadness.
Marblehead, MA, and Fayston