Killington Votes to Secede
SAM Magazine--Killington, Vt., Mar. 3, 2004--In their continuing protest against high taxes on second homes, Killington voters approved a proposal to secede from Vermont and join the state of New Hampshire at the town's annual meeting Mar. 2.
Vermont's Act 60 and Act 68, passed years ago, set higher tax rates for second-home properties than for primary residences. Robin Hood-like, the state sends revenue from towns that are rich in second homes, such as Killington, to the state's poorer school districts.
Of the $10 million in school district property tax collected in Killington, all but $1 million is being sent to schools elsewhere. The situation is similar in other Vermont resort towns; Ludlow raises $14 million in school property tax revenue, and keeps just $3 million.
"We have no rights, we have no justice, no representation," Killington town manager Dave Lewis told the Rutland Herald. "We're being used as a cash cow to support others."
The town of Killington has previously fought the property tax system by challenging the state's appraisal process all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the state. The latest vote triggers a study of the feasibility of secession. Secession is highly unlikely, and might not provide much relief, anyway: New Hampshire, which has no state income or sales tax, relies on high property taxes for the bulk of its revenues. \