by Peter Freyne
Here's what Vermont's incumbent Republican governor will be doing this lovely Wednesday morning right after the Democratic gubernatorial challenger hold his Statehouse-Steps presser:
Governor to Outline Details of Property Tax Cap Proposal
Proposal Reduces Property Taxes by Millions of Dollars
WHAT: Property Tax Cap Press Conference
Montpelier, Vt.—Governor Jim Douglas will outline the details and projected savings of his proposal to cap property taxes.
He is also expected to call on the next Legislature to enact additional changes they had previously refused, including a means test to protect Vermonters who own a home and land that has appreciated significantly over the years but are of modest financial means. The Governor will also urge the legislators to end abuses of the system and close loopholes that allow the owners of million dollar homes to collect 5-figure government assistance checks.
Governor Douglas has proposed capping education property tax growth at around the rate of inflation each year. “A real property tax cap would reduce taxes by millions of dollars each year and allow room for school budgets to grow responsibly to meet the needs of a community,” he said.
Governor Douglas also noted that making Vermont more affordable requires reducing the tax burden on working Vermonters, which according to the U.S Census Bureau is the highest in the nation. “Property tax increases are making it more and more challenging for parents to provide for their children and for longtime residents to stay in their homes. We simply cannot afford tax increases at double the rate of inflation, at a time when student enrollment is declining,” he added.
The Governor’s property tax cap proposal exempts special education and capital costs.
As we report in today's "Inside Track" in the weekly edition of Seven Days, Vermont's Republican Team at the top is a little more worried about November 8 than we had realized.
Our GOP source was expressing the concern Ol' Scudder would continue his unorthodox "stealth" campaign - avoid harping on what our source described as the usual property-tax-raising lefty issues - and then sneak across the November finish line first by cashing in on the BIG WAVE that everybody knows is coming. The Big Anti-Bush, Antiwar, Anti-Republican WAVE that, here in Vermont, will be led by Independent Shoo-in Bernie Sanders in the Senate race.
The fear in GOP Land is the WAVE is so damn big on November 8 that Bernie, with his phenomenal get-out-the-vote power, and Democrat Peter Welch (and his dog) in the U.S. House race, drag Ol' Scudder along to victory, too. Maybe even one of them eager Dems running for Lite-Gov, too?
And we predict the size of the Bernie WAVE grew this week as the most desperate, richest man we know - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rich Tarrant - started running his Bernie is a Child Molester ads on Vermont television.
A desperate man is Richard Tarrant.
At least Tarrant, our favorite Florida oceanfront mansion owner, should have used a concerned Vermont mom in his child-molester TV spot, instead of some grizzled, gray and mean-looking old-timer who, some have remarked, comes across like a you-know-what, i.e. the kind of old-timer you don't want to let the grandkids play with alone, if you know what I mean.
So it's a Montpeculiar Day ahead, a "Double-Banger Plus."
Scudder the Democratic Challenger, followed by King James the Republican, followed by fresh-roasted African beans from Capitol Grounds.
We'll let you now this afternoon how it went.