I fully support the recent Mountain Times letters endorsing retaining the 1 percent option tax. True the original purpose was for economic development, however, times have changed and Town needs have changed. Just like Green Mountain National Golf Course, which when purchased, was thought to be able to provide sufficient economic income growth to pay off the debt, things didn’t work out as initially planned. Thus, the tax burdens that Killington residents are now undertaking, need whatever help the option tax can provide to support these undertakings. Especially since proposed estimates for repairing/replacing the Killington fire station run between $2 million and $7 million. As potentially beneficial as diverting tax income to support Killington Resort initiatives may be, I believe our residents must consider town needs and funds available as their first priority.
As mentioned John Cumming (Killington Resort Owner) recently sold the Park City Ski Resort for $183 million, and certainly has the funds to expand Killington, should he choose to do so without the added income from eliminating and pocketing the 1 percent sales and use tax. Quite frankly the tens of thousands of dollars he is receiving annually from Killington residents who, at his direction, lost their “Lifetime Passes” should be more than sufficient. As a town we have been making tough choices and sacrifices to keep academic excellence within our elementary school, and that’s where our priorities and future lies. We all know the statewide education property tax is an onerous and ever-increasing burden. Thus, forcing town residents to the added burden of “donating” option tax income to the resort, at the expense of raising our property taxes should be a non starter for all of us.
I ask you to make your voices heard by signing the petitions going around to keep the option tax, and attending the Nov. 18 Select Board meeting on this issue.
Marty Post, Killington