Where is the Money Coming From?

To the editor:

Now that the primary is over, I thought I would reach out to the voters of Greensboro, Glover, Craftsbury and Albany to explain why I believe it is so important to re-elect Vicki Strong to the new one seat Orleans-4 District.

Currently we have 46 Republican House seats out of the 150 seats total. The majority sets the agenda, and maybe rightly so, but the balance is not there for good legislation.

I believe H.715 the Clean Heat Standard Bill would have been bad for our Northeast Kingdom residents, as well as many of the smaller fuel dealers. The legislature’s own Joint Fiscal Office stated “It is too soon to estimate the impact on Vermont’s economy, households and businesses”. The governor’s veto of this bill was sustained by just one vote, 99 to 51. This is just one example of a bill, while well intentioned, needed a veto and votes to sustain that veto.

Many bills, while well-intentioned, institute more mandates, regulations and simply grow government. The registration of contractors bill, while requiring a modest fee to register, also required two new positions in the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) and one in the attorney general’s office. The proponents of many bills, not knowing where the money will come from state, “we have to find another source of revenue”, or simply “tax the rich.” Vermont, being such a small state, that source of revenue is you, the hard-working tax payers. The 2022 report from the Tax Foundation has ranked Vermont’s tax system 43rd in overall taxation.

With the 2.7 billion dollars Vermont received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) we have tried our best to make one time investments in, Climate Change Mitigation, Housing, Broadband, Water and Sewer Infrastructure, and Economic Recovery and Development. When this money runs out, Vermonters and in particular, residents of the Orleans-4 district will need Representative Strong’s understanding of what invest means and where that money comes from. Vicki has lived in and served her community much longer than the 12 years she has served as State Representative. If you know Vicki, you know how much she cares and is willing to help out anyone, not just her constituency. Please help us all and re-elect Vicki!

Mark Higley

Representative Orleans/Lamoille

(Lowell, Jay, Westfield, Troy, Eden)