February 28, 2014
For Immediate Release
Vermonters Deserve to Know
Montpelier, VT –Once again the Democratic supermajority in Montpelier has failed the Vermont taxpayer. They are far more interested in expanding the renewable energy market for their largest donors and protecting the Governor’s flawed health care plans than they are in providing Vermont taxpayers with a plan to control escalating education costs or a fully functioning health care exchange.
For several years, local communities have been able to more clearly estimate their tax increases using the homestead and non-resident tax amounts which were approved by the House of Representatives prior to Town Meeting. This year, without any indication from the legislature, towns will have to rely on a Governor’s appointee for this information, while the Governor has called for schools to spend less and for voters to oppose school budgets, all while he proposes spending an additional $88 million in the state budget.
“With taxpayers facing another 10-to-20 percent increase in their education property tax, on top of last year’s large increase, it is disappointing that, up to this point in the session, nothing has been done in the House to address this very serious issue or the floundering health care exchange known as Vermont Health Connect. The legislature needs to take action to hold the Governor accountable for his spending, and the state’s Vermont Health Connect contractor CGI accountable for their inability to deliver a fully functioning health exchange as promised,” said Rep. Don Turner.
“We are asking Vermont taxpayers to pay more and more in taxes while the Vermont House fails to do its job. While spending time on frivolous legislation, millions of dollars are still being sunk into a failed website and the Department of Children and Families can’t or won’t protect Vermont’s most vulnerable,” said Rep. Mary Morrissey.
“The Republican House Caucus wants voters to be able to make an informed decision at the ballot box on Tuesday. This will be more difficult this year without any information or direction from the legislature. These budget outcomes will likely determine the fate of any true education and property tax reform initiatives being discussed in the legislature. In short, elections do have consequences,” concluded Minority Leader Don Turner.