Deb Billado: Democrats have taken taxing authority to a new and ridiculous level

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deb Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP.

We know painfully well that our Democrat/Progressive Legislature has an addiction to big spending with Vermont taxpayer money. I have heard it said that to feed that need “they will tax or find a fee (a tax by another name) for anything that moves and also for anything that does not move.”

Deborah Billado, chair of the Vermont GOP

It might be hard to believe but they have found something else to assess as well. The public has a legal right to inspect certain public records at no charge to them. If T.J. Donovan, Vermont’s Democrat Attorney General, has his way, you will be charged a copying fee if you choose to record that record with your own cell phone camera, even though such copying adds no additional cost to their office.

Donovan believes that even if you take a photo of a public record with your own cell phone, you’re breaking the law — unless you fork over some money to the state coffers. For some perplexing and unbelievable reason, Donovan thinks the state needs to be reimbursed for copying records, even when the state isn’t the one copying them!

Republicans have a problem with this, and the governor has ordered state agencies to ignore the attorney general’s ridiculous directive, arguing that members of the public should be able to inspect public documents for free. It seems like a no-brainer — but Donovan just doesn’t get it.

The Legislature will likely weigh into this, but if history is any predictor, don’t expect the big-taxing Democratic supermajority to do the right thing. Can they go any further than taxing you for using your camera to copy a record? Who knows. Now that they have identified things to tax beyond things that move and don’t move, the sky is the limit for the quest for new revenue. The sky? Now that’s an idea we better not put in their mind!

You can do something to protect the safety of your hard-earned income from this and other money grabs by supporting, voting for and even running as a candidate for office in 2020 as a Republican.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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11 thoughts on “Deb Billado: Democrats have taken taxing authority to a new and ridiculous level

  1. Its the dumb and dumber Dems at it again…Donovan gets it alright he’s just batblind, tone deaf and dumber than a bag of hammers…but most of all devoid of conscience with astonishing lack of self awareness.

    Obviously see selves as fulltime lifelong rulers in the Patrician class – and look down on everyone who isn’t. This is why we need to get rid of them – when a let-them-eat-cake attitude is par for their course they are unelectably arrogant and have no business being near the reigns of power.

  2. Noting: “It might be hard to believe but they have found something else to assess as well. The public has a legal right to inspect certain public records at no charge to them. If T.J. Donovan, Vermont’s Democrat Attorney General, has his way, you will be charged a copying fee if you choose to record that record with your own cell phone camera, even though such copying adds no additional cost to their office”

    VT law:
    Title 32: Taxation and Finance
    Chapter 17: FEES AND COSTS
    Sub-Chapter 08: Town Officers
    32 V.S.A. § 1671. Town clerk
    (7) For uncertified copies of records and documents on file, or recorded, a fee of $1.00 per page shall be charged, with a minimum fee of $2.00; however, copies of minutes of municipal meetings or meetings of local boards and commissions, copies of grand lists and checklists and copies of any public records that any agency of that political subdivision has deposited with —the clerk shall be available to the public at actual cost;

    This means if you use personal equipment to copy info (camera, portable hand scanner) There is no actual cost to the Clerk. The Mormon’s have visited VT offices and copied deeds (historical data collection) with scanners for their collection of family data (etc) at:
    The Granite Mountain Records Vault (also known simply as The Vault)

    I copied old deeds with my camera that traced my land history back to Benning Wentworth & the King George Grants. The Townshend TC was in my face saying I owed her $1 per picture. I told her to take a hike, she didn’t know the regulations concerning copying.

    Trust this scenario is in line with Deb Billado’s statement, and others should know. There are many TC’s that are very helpful, not in Townshend.

  3. This goes beyond reason. As he sow, so shall ye reap. Put these people in charge, and this is what you get. Why should anyone be surprised??????

  4. One more attempt by the Democrat Left to control everything we do even think or want to do, but nothing they do. If you have to pay to get open public records, few people will ever go get them and read them. Blind allegiance then follows logically. The next step? Force citizens to go to court and pay thousands to a lawyer to get any public record, even one that refers to them. ( marriage licenses, birth certificates, divorce and child support, immigration, even Green Card records and maybe IRS and FICA too.. We are heading in a very dangerous direction in this country. I’m writing a “pamphlet” ( Ebook) about how and why we are living a repeat of earlier history and why we must stop that re-play!. If I still lived in Vermont, I’d be happy to run for office. My Dad was asked to run for Governor many years ago. He didn’t because he was a disabled military veteran, but he wanted to run. He did a lot of good things for Vermont. Loved the state.

  5. The public has a legal right to inspect certain public records at no charge to them as they have
    already paid for them.

    What this political hack T.J. Donovan want is to not let “Tax-Payers ” view what is already there’s
    because they may find a few inconsistency that he may have to explain…… Liberals in politics
    what a joke.

    When they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, that’s an understatement with this clown
    and his family tree !!

  6. The trouble with republicans is that all the great candidates who would probably like to run for office are too busy trying to feed their families to run. They have jobs to support their families. That is why the statehouse is filled with wealthy, liberal, trust fund babies with too much time on their hands to enact feel good legislation. They have nothing better to do with their time.

  7. Deb you have just understated the problem with Vermont Government today. The majority in Montpelier has no desire to uphold their “Oath of Office” or to do what is right for Vermont. They all seem to forget that they work for us…not the other way around. The Agenda driven majority will end up bankrupting what remains of this state if allowed to continue down their “Garden Path” of progressive destruction. It is (way past) time to end it.

  8. So true!
    Taxing and regulations in Vermont is way beyond reason.
    Tax for buying land in Vermont, tax for buying existing property in Vermont, tax for selling property in Vermont,, tax called “Impact” putting anything on your land, tax for a curb cut into your property when there is no curb, tax for public utilities you will never use, tax for building permit with NO inspection, double and treble taxing the same thing over and over. Copy tax no different that all the other MONEY GRABS AND EXTORTION Vermont government put on anyone doing business or wanting to live and own anything in Vermont. Exactly where does all the money go?

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