Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Vermont Taxes > It’s time for the wealthiest to pay their fair share in taxes

It’s time for the wealthiest to pay their fair share in taxes

We can build a Vermont that works for everyone who lives here. 

We can have thriving downtowns, safe roads and bridges, and housing that people can afford. Our children can learn in vibrant and supportive schools. We can protect our environment. We can care for Vermont families at every stage of life. 

But first, we need to look at our tax code. That’s right—our tax code.

In recent decades, wages for many Vermont residents have not kept up with the costs of living. Meanwhile, elected officials tell us that Vermont doesn’t have the money to make crucial public investments to take care of families, infrastructure, and the environment.

Yet the data show that this scarcity narrative is rhetoric, not reality. Income inequality is growing in Vermont. Our wealthiest residents are getting wealthier. Our highest income earners are earning more and getting a larger and larger share of overall income. And our current tax structure protects the wealth of a small number of residents, instead of focusing on the needs of all people in Vermont. 

The solution is clear: We need to raise revenue to build a better Vermont by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Vermont residents. 

It’s time to build a Vermont that’s affordable for all Vermonters, because we can’t afford a Vermont that only the wealthy can afford. 

By increasing taxes on the wealthiest, we can raise substantial state revenue to ensure that our downtowns are clean and safe, our families are supported, our environment is healthy, and our economy is flourishing. 

By raising revenue in a way that is fair and equitable, we can make crucial investments today, instead of deferring expenses that will multiply and cost more in the long run. 

By increasing taxes on those with more than enough, we can build a better Vermont for everyone, including our wealthiest residents. This—not austerity—is the fiscally responsible strategy for our present and future.

A fair tax code is critical to building a Vermont that works for everyone who lives here.


Anika Heilweil lives in Burlington and works for Public Assets Institute. She is the Campaign Manager for the Fund Vermont’s Future Coalition and the Fair Share for Vermont Campaign.



Posted by Anika Heilweil on December 8, 2023 at 10:56 am

One Response to “It’s time for the wealthiest to pay their fair share in taxes”

  1. Tim Swartz says:

    Thanks for reprising this conclusion again, Anika. I hope that the Fair Share for Vermont Campaign can spread this word effectively enough that it will overcome the unthinking acceptance of the “affordability” argument that is made (without foundation) by Gov. Scott and many others. I agree that we need a more progressive tax code to increase fairness, and to finance the investments we need to make in infrastructure and social services in our state. Also in the US as a whole, but that’s a bigger battle!