Montpelier, VT –  Reaction to the Democrats’ new proposal to raise gasoline — and likely home heating fuel — taxes by 88-cents per gallon or more has been swift and decisive.

Vermonters know that we cannot continue to allow Democrats to leverage their single party rule in Montpelier to impose another regressive, reckless and punishing tax on working Vermonters, young people and senior citizens.

Some Democrats — including Kesha Ram, a leading sponsor of the new tax in the House of Representatives and candidate for Lt. Governor — have had a sudden “election year conversion” and are flip-flopping on the issue in an attempt to preserve their own political aspirations and their ability to create new taxes in the future.

Others are more subtle in their political deceit, suggesting it’s not going to “move” or that it will be a “multi-year conversation.”  They think Vermonters don’t know what they really mean is: “It’s an election year so we’re going to pretend we don’t want to create another new tax that will make it more expensive for you to drive your car and heat your home.”

Let’s get real:  The proposal has over two dozen Democrat sponsors, including the chairs of powerful House Committees.  They clearly want to move it forward.  If they wanted to prove it’s not moving forward, the bill would be withdrawn and they would pledge never to support it again.

On the other hand, some Democrats, to their credit, are standing by their convictions and continuing to push this new economic assault on working families and small businesses.  These affordability deniers believe there is always more tax capacity in Vermont to fund the perpetual expansion of their failing experiments.

Still other Democrats — following the lead of their “non-partisan” and “non-political” cronies at VPIRG — have tried to spin this issue from one of economic responsibility and affordability to one of environmental conservation and climate change. They are angrily lashing out at our message of responsible, common sense measures to grow the economy and make Vermont more affordable for families and businesses.

We want to be very clear: Vermont Republicans know that to adequately fund the essential services of government — including environmental conservation — we need a strong and growing economy that creates good jobs, inspires innovation (rather than taxing it) and provides new and better opportunities for working Vermonters and young people.  

By every conceivable measure — job growth, wage growth, demographic trends, tax revenue, etc. — the Democrat’s regressive, burdensome and steadily growing crisis of affordability is leading our state and our economy in exactly the wrong direction.

If you want to tell the them to make Vermont more affordable, let your voice be heard at www.makevermontaffordable.com.  

Together, we can make a difference.