TAXED TOWN THREATENS SECESSION

Tired of taxes, Vermont ski town considers joining New Hampshire

Officials in the popular ski resort area of Killington want the town to secede from Vermont and join neighboring New Hampshire in a dispute over taxes.

They say the town’s restaurants, inns and other businesses send $10 million a year to the state capital in sales, room and meal taxes, but the state returns just $1 million in state aid to Killington.

Even more galling to the town is a statewide property tax imposed in 1997 to fund schools. The town of 1,092 won a Superior Court order that called the state’s method of assessing local properties “arbitrary and capricious,” but the state Supreme Court reversed that decision.

“It kind of reminds us of Colonial days,” Town Manager David Lewis said Thursday. “The Colonies were being faced with the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, the Sugar Act. England wasn’t giving them any rights. They were treating the Colonies as just a revenue source.”

New Hampshire, just 25 miles east, has no income tax or sales tax.

***

Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz said Killington has little chance of secession “absent an armed insurrection type of thing. … A town is a construction of the state and exists at the pleasure of the Legislature.”

Amusing. This was in the Coast-to-Coast section of today’s WaPo but I couldn’t find it online. It turns out that the story was on the AP wire has appeared in various places for a couple of weeks now.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. jen says:

    I’m sure the resident of New Hampshire who currently trek across the Vermont border to ski in Killington would be happy to see the rates reduced should the secession actually occur.

  2. Sam says:

    While NH doesn’t have sales or income taxes, they sure have property taxes–my recollection (from a decade ago) was they were generally quite higher than the surrounding states. Obviously NH states and localities have to fund their budget somehow. Would people in the town of Killington *really* lower their taxes by seceding to NH? I don’t know.