8 Vermont counties expect stimulus money 10-26 times their annual budgets

By David Flemming

Some Vermont counties are set to get more money from the federal government in one year than they have gotten from Vermont taxpayers in the 21st century. Part of the Covid stimulus package involves the federal government allocating billions in ARPA stimulus funding to counties across the U.S., according to each county’s share of the U.S. population. Vermont’s counties are set to get $121 million directly funded to them. For reference, Vermont’s Legislature recently allocated $80 million of ARPA funding, despite some vocal disagreement from Gov. Phil Scott.

Addison County is set to get $7.1 million with a F2022 budget of $269,000. Chittenden County, meanwhile, will be gifted $31.8 million compared to a $1.24 million budget. In essence, Addison and Chittenden are each set up get over 25 times in federal funds in one year than what they usually spend on their annual budgets. Franklin, Rutland and Windsor counties are expected to receive about $10 million in ARPA funding, making their ARPA funds 20 times as large as their budgets. Bennington, Windham, Orleans, Lamoille, Orange and Essex counties have ARPA funding exceeding between 5-12 times their budgets. Data regarding the size of Caledonia, Grand Isle and Washington counties did not have budgets available, likely because they weren’t significant.

This model of federal grants makes more sense in other states because those counties have larger budgets with greater responsibilities. Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office summarizes “in most but not all states (i.e. Vermont), counties have wide-ranging responsibilities such as registering voters, supervising elections, keeping records, providing police protection, and administering health and welfare services. In some parts of the country, the county government also has responsibility for schools and roads.”

In other words, the responsibilities of most U.S. county workers extend far beyond what is expected of Vermont county workers. We can infer that on the whole, counties outside Vermont employ greater numbers of county government workers relative to their populations with greater knowledge about the places where increased funding would help.

Vermont relies on town government workers to get those jobs done. “Almost all Vermont counties conduct business limited to County Court and the Sheriff’s Department, and their employees serve limited roles. Yet the ARPA funds going to counties must be spent in specific areas far outside the areas of expertise of county employees in Vermont,” according to JFO.

Only time will tell if Vermont will be able to overcome this spending expertise disadvantage.

David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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12 thoughts on “8 Vermont counties expect stimulus money 10-26 times their annual budgets

  1. Well if the counties are getting all this extra money, why are you not lowering property taxes in this state! We are the 5th highest taxed state and it’s becoming ridiculous to live here. Our taxes went up over $3000.00 in the past 5 years. Stop asking the question how do we get people to relocate to Vermont and start focusing on why so many people are leaving. I agree with school tax but I’ve worked in the school system and there is so much frivolous spending, fraudulent use of money and cushioning its disgusting. The taxes just keep increasing and when voted down they continue to keep calling for another vote until they get there way!

  2. Hegelian dialectics in play as always by the technofascists…creating a dependency the ONLY solution out of will GBI – and we’ll have to be vaccinated to access it. And prove we’ve been vaccinated TO access it (yellow star anyone?). Because we’re stoopid Vermonters who don’t know how to live our lives and stay healthy (where were we on the health scale before all this state, eh?) without Daddy’s permission and direction on what we should do next.
    Is ANYONE buying this oh so subtle communist b.s.?
    Why yes – that would be all the socialist marxist officials who forgot about us the second they gained office – guaranteed by our ‘safe’ voting tabulators that are ‘impartial’ and can’t be hacked, manipulated or controlled because our SOS says they are safe and we should believe him…
    But yeah… problem solved.
    And all part of the bigger NWO UN Agenda for Sustainability 2030, play by play by play…
    We’ve been sold down the river by the snake oil salesmen, predictably.
    Vermonters are too polite make a ruckus…so here we are: Welcome to captured state of Vermont, dependent on government, utterly.

    I’m heartened by the stark difference between how the commenters see living in Vermont, and our anointed elite legislators perspectives:
    “Let them eat cake.”

    • It’s the same trap they’ve used on Vermont’s poor and many in the city, completely failed. And yes they want us dependent, because then the control us, Vermont is making bank off keeping so many entrapped in poverty. So much so we have to import more people into our state to be dependent and get on our welfare system. Landlords are advertising our lucrative welfare benefits in other states to bring in more tenants, let that sink in!

      All on your dime!

      “Affordable housing” is one of Vermont’s biggest scams, biggest poverty trap on the planet. Vermont officials want NOTHING to do with people owning their own homes. Cause the free market is not going to pay $512,000 for a mobil home, but the state surely will for the same space!

  3. Comrades. Over $400,000,000,000 of U.S. stimulus money has been stolen by scammers in China and Russia. There is no way Vermont is going to stand for being out done by them!

  4. And yet they want to add a tax for essential items like – food, clothing, gasoline AND services – like educational opportunities, labor services – handyperson, painting, landscaping, plumbing, roofing, housecleaning, hair care, pet services, real estate services, and so many more.

  5. All this “federal money” was stolen from our children and grandchildren, in the form of blazing inflation of prices, and money becoming near useless.

    They gave $1000’s to some! Now plan to tax us very many more $thousands, and taxed us on new categories accordingly, while inflation has already grabbed thousands from our budgets.!!!!

    • ” was stolen from our children and grandchildren”

      exactly DR, free money is never free, the kids will have to pay for it.. most irresponsible use of fed money by the most incompetent missadministration.
      I received about 3k and I work and have SS which I had to take even though
      I still work. I’m sure there’s many millions more who didn’t need or ask for it. I will spend locally however to help the little guy.. I’m too old to give a crap anyhoo..

  6. And yet Montpelier wants to tax Vermonters on essentials – food, clothing, gas, services – like education, catering, housecleaning, hair care, construction labor… Something smells funny. I hope Vermonters will start saying – we won’t lie down and take whatever comes. Time to speak up and make your voice count.

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