Lawmakers Take Aim at Model School Funding Stream

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Vermont is one of a growing number of states that have moved away from a purely local property tax toward a statewide tax that shares revenue between poor and wealthy taxing districts. This is a good move for those seeking to make the property tax a more equitable funding source. But property taxes are as unpopular in Vermont as in many other states, and a number of anti-tax lawmakers are proposing to repeal the statewide tax-- with no replacement funding source. The Vermont League of Cities, taking a slightly more responsible tack, announced this week that it also favors repeal of the statewide property tax, but endorses replacing at least some of the lost revenue with an increase in the personal income tax. Meanwhile, the property tax debate has spilled over into the gubernatorial election, with incumbent Governor Jim Douglas proposing a cap on local budget growth. A helpful overview of the Vermont property tax debate is here.

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