To The Editor:

Vermont's taxes are some of the highest in the United States relative to other rural areas. And the cost of living in Vermont is on the far end of the spectrum as well. And now people are proposing a new tax be levied on Valley residents applying to all sales here. A local "option." But it won't be optional to pay, now will it? This to address things like the affordable housing problem here. Yes, raising the cost of living to make this place more affordable. You can't make this stuff up. Stealing with one hand and gifting you with the other. Amazing that this is real life here in 2018. Our ancestors in this place would be (and are) appalled. If you want young people to settle here, try doing less and then needing to take less from people. Rural people want to take care of themselves – just get out of the way. Rather than trying failed approaches even harder it's high time we actually reverse the trend. And, please, rather than speak for businesses saying, "We need more year-round income," recognize that many are swamped for good chunks of the year and actually want the downtime. This isn't, yet, Stowe or Burlington despite many politicians aims to make it ever more like them and the other overspent places they moved here from.

Ben Falk