December 2, 2009

Vermont property tax rates expected to rise | burlingtonfreepress.com | The Burlington Free Press

Vermont property tax rates expected to rise | burlingtonfreepress.com | The Burlington Free Press:

Taxpayer revolt is in the offing unless the Legislature takes the long overdue steps to decrease education funding and force cost control. Every person running for state office and local school boards should be asked this question in the run-up to the 2010 elections:

What is your plan to constrain the cost of public education?

"The recession means more families qualify to pay their school taxes based on their income rather than on the assessed value of their property, which decreases tax revenues.

Lawmakers used federal stimulus dollars to help cover some of the annual allotment of general taxes (such as income and sales) for education. When this funding runs out, the annual transfer from the General Fund could jump $60 million -- just when other demands are expected to exceed General Fund revenues by many millions.

Westman noted that the Douglas administration has offered ideas to constrain the growth in spending on schools, but lawmakers rejected most of the proposals. The administration recently offered another set of options to school officials, and a legislative committee is expected to make recommendations, too.

'It is important to see what we can do on the spending side,' said Ancel, who serves on the study committee looking at school"
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