August 17th, 2019

He Wants to Spend Money We Don’t Have

To the Editor,

As a man of high principles, Governor Scott vowed that there would be no new taxes and no new fees. We presumed these principles included sound fiscal management, not spending money we don’t have and a good bit of Yankee common sense. We also supposed he had a sound plan to balance the budget while building our economy and protecting the most vulnerable. At least that’s what he said, but we’ve been fooled.

In keeping with the pledge he made in January, he stated repeatedly that he wouldn’t sign H.911 and H.922, the budget and tax bills. The budget passed with overwhelming tri-partisan support. H.911 would raise the residential education property tax about 2 ½ cents. Never mind that when voters passed school budgets at Town Meeting they were expecting tax rates to go up 5 to 6 cents. They voted to provide education to support local needs and expectations.

Scott’s rhetoric is a violation of the very principles he claims to uphold. He wants to spend money we don’t have – up to $68 million that he promises to repay somewhere down the road, jeopardizing essential parts of the budget along the way. His cuts would weaken the economy by ignoring the basics of good education and hurting the most vulnerable – mortgaging Vermont’s future against shaky assumptions about the economy several years hence. The Governor has painted himself into a corner, stuck between his no tax pledge and principles that seem to have blown away – leaving only a masquerade of good governance behind.

Representative Jim Masland, Thetford Center

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