Public Assets Institute is looking for a new Policy Analyst who will become part of our team analyzing a range of Vermont fiscal and economic issues and helping to advance policies that ensure all Vermonters, especially low- and moderate-income residents, have the opportunity to succeed. Read more
In addition to pushing up property taxes in many towns, the education reform bill passed in the closing days of the session violates a fundamental principle of fairness in Vermont’s education funding system: towns with the same education spending per pupil have the same homestead tax rates. Read more
Desperate to find a way to reduce property taxes, the Legislature’s latest idea is to increase property taxes in scores of communities. Huh?
Seriously. The plan is to impose property tax penalties on districts with per-pupil spending that is higher than the Legislature thinks it should be. Read more
The Vermont Legislature is pushing ahead with school consolidation on the promise that it will produce better educational opportunities for Vermont children and lower costs for taxpayers. But if consolidation is such a good idea, why won’t lawmakers—to borrow a well-worn phrase—put a little skin in the game and invest General Fund dollars in the reform effort? Read more
Thousands of Vermonters work at jobs that don’t pay enough to meet their families’ basic needs. That leaves Vermont taxpayers paying tens of millions of dollars to pick up the slack left by employers who pay so little that hard working men and women have to turn to public assistance. Read more
All we’ve heard from Montpelier this year, from the governor to legislative leaders, is that Vermont has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. A new analysis by the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) shows this conventional wisdom is wrong.
The JFO data show state spending has gone down as a percentage of the economy over the last 10 years. Read more
Paul Cillo testified before the Senate Finance Committee yesterday and suggested two things we need to do to bring Vermont’s tax and budget policies into the 21st Century:
1. Acknowledge that what we’ve been doing isn’t working.
We started the 21st Century with massive federal tax cuts that were supposed to stimulate the economy, create jobs and bring prosperity to all. Read more
March 16, 2015
The Honorable Shap Smith, Speaker of the House The Honorable John Campbell, President Pro Tempore of the Senate State House 115 State Street Montpelier, VT 05633
Dear Speaker Smith and President Pro Tempore Campbell,
We’re writing with concern about the current budget situation and with a proposal for a possible solution. Read more
Montpelier is struggling to plug a state budget gap again this year—$113 million. As in the past, the preferred option is cutting Vermont’s already slashed-to-slivers state services. While austerity proponents love it, this strategy will make Vermonters more miserable, especially those who’ve seen their real incomes decline for a decade. Read more
There should be a bright side to Gov. Peter Shumlin’s frequent complaint that Vermont business owners have difficulty finding skilled workers. When there is work to be done and not enough workers, wages should go up.
That would be a good thing, and something that needs to happen in Vermont. Read more