To The Editor:
Man, I hate taxes. Like many folks I feel like I pay more than my share. Between sales, property, income, payroll, corporate, unemployment and every other little percent tacked on to this and that, I probably do!
What irks me the most is most of these taxes get sucked into the void and I don’t get direct benefit from them. My property tax is a great example. Eighty percent of it goes to the state education fund. And 80 percent of that goes to someone else’s schools! The Vermont Supreme Court says that is fair so I guess it is.
That’s why I really like the idea of a local option tax for the Mad River Valley Planning District towns. It is a proposal that our elected officials and community members are learning about now that taxes local sales, rooms, meals and alcohol at 1 percent. It’s money raised here, mostly paid by visitors (75 percent?), not burdening folks who are struggling, that gets spent here by a locally controlled systematic process. The funds go toward improving our community assets like housing, transportation and job creation/retention. These are long-term community needs that are not being met (or if they are they are being Band-Aided and duct taped). Some of the duplication of effort and reliance on the same volunteer labor can be addressed by the concept being proposed by the MRV-For Local Opportunities (FLO) Fund.
The Mad River Valley is doing well. But our relative prosperity is precarious. We could be doing better and we should set ourselves up to be more resilient in the next economic downturn.
We need to be a place that families want to move to – we need to be a place where they can make a go of it.
Housing, jobs and strong schools create communities that grow and perpetuate. That doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and resources to implement those plans. We have the options, but they cost money. FLO would provide a source of funds to sustain the future of the MRV’s resources by increasing its vitality and resilience. It’s a tide that will float all boats. Learn about the details. Don’t rely on hearsay and rumor.
I hate taxes. But this is one I can support because it’s going to be used to perpetuate a place I love.