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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tax Presentation in Town Hall, Charlotte, Vermont

Rural Route Today recently hosted a presentation by Richie Westman, Vermont Commissioner of Taxes at the Charlotte Town Hall. Although his projections may not all come true, the future looks daunting as Vermont state revenues dip and education costs—funded primarily with property taxes—continue to rise. Benefits such as tax exempt properties, local option tax, TIF (Tax Increment Financing) districts, income sensitivity payments and the Current Use Program eat away at revenues. Granted, these programs are valuable tools for many people but the end result is that the spending is more than we can afford.

So, what’s a citizen to do? At least this year in Charlotte voters finally said NO to some spending proposals. I’m afraid getting out of this mess will take more than a few “No”s to do the trick. “Conservative” is not always a bad word to be associated with the right wing, just as “Liberal” doesn’t have to mean excessive social programming from the left wing. Typically, it takes two wings to carry the bird, so we must find a happy—or at least balanced—medium. Some good old-fashioned frugality and plain common sense may be the ticket.

Robin Reid

Voters at the Polls in Charlotte, Vermont - Town Meeting Day 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Newly started blog for Rural Route Today... my INDEPENDENT local monthly newspaper now in it's fifth year! I have to warm up to this blogging... but for now... I'm just introducing myself to it...
Important issues being covered are AGRICULTURE! and the difficulties of the dairy industry. Recently, the US Sec. of Ag Tom Vilsack visited Vermont. I published a long article FOR THE RECORD covering all three of the meetings he attended here in Vermont. I will figure out whether I can publish PDF pages on this blog and if I can, I will post it.
I am also covering some local foods innovations... and, because MUSIC is my passion, I have a music section!! Plus, lots of local events... and I like to cover small businesses. I believe in helping others!! and that mutual support will be what gets us through the hard times!
So... HOPE can always be part of life...
Posted here are some images from Sec. Vilsack's Visit... these are of the last leg of his day in Vermont when he visited the St. Albans Co-op. He was also present at the NOFA VT annual meeting... and at a special town meeting hosted by Senator Sanders. Senators Sanders, Leahy and Congressman Welch as well as VT. Sec. of Ag Roger Allbee accompanied Sec. Vilsack on his visit... and Gov. Douglas was at the last stop... here at the St. Albans Coop annual meeting.