On November 12, 2014

Removing the sales option tax creates no net increase

Dear Editor,

In response to Diane Rosenblum’s letter to the editor last week titled “Oppose the option tax” I just don’t understand why one would write such a letter without facts.

Green Mountain National Golf Course does not have $5 million debt. As of Dec. 31, 2013, the debt was $3,850,000. There has been no added debt to the golf course this year. This year on Dec. 31, 2014, we will pay down an additional $395,000, which will leave us with a principal balance at the end of 2014 of $3,455,000. Your stated value of $5 million, is off by $1.5 million.

You also mention that nobody you’ve spoken to wants the tax removed because no one wants a tax increase. But if people in town would actually do the numbers, a good majority would actually see that their taxes would go down by releasing this portion of the option tax.

The plan that the Chamber and the Resort propose is that the 1 percent sales option tax be released, which would initially cause a $450,000 shortfall in the town budget. However, in their proposal they’re saying that $250,000-$300,000 from the town budget that had gone to support marketing and events would be removed as the new Killington Pico Area Association would take on that responsibility. The additional $150,000-$250,000 deficit that we would need to make up for in property taxes would only add about a penny and a half per hundred to the taxpayer. In other words, someone who owns a $300,000 house would see municipal tax go up $45. At the same time, one must calculate what that resident would now NOT be paying in sales option taxes throughout the year — phone bills, electricity, and other purchases.

Stated before by the town manager and printed by The Mountain Times, the average Killington resident currently spends about $50/year paying the sales portion of the option tax.

So, Diane, where is the tax increase?

Jim Haff, Killington

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