Roper: Hallquist’s ‘free tuition’ not free for property taxpayers

By Rob Roper

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist recently announced her plan to offer “free” college education for low income Vermont students. Only, the plan is not free for Vermont property taxpayers.

Rob Roper

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Although Hallquist’s long term funding plan includes a vague hope that savings from reducing Vermont’s prison population can be applied to tuition subsidies, the short-term funding plan, according to reporting by VT Digger, refers to S.231, a bill championed by Progressives in the last legislative session.

S.231 says: “An amount of $30 million shall be appropriated and transferred from the Education Fund to the Fund. For each subsequent fiscal 20 year, the amount appropriated and transferred under this subdivision shall be increased over the fiscal year 2020.”

This, of course, means that property taxes will have to increase by $30 million, or K-12 education will have to be cut by that amount. Not likely in a Hallquist administration working with Progressives in the house and senate to pass this program.

Hallquist also suggested tax hikes for tobacco and alcohol could be used to subsidize the new program.

Hallquist noted (again, thanks Digger) that, “the cost of higher education has skyrocketed since she attended college at the end of the 1970s. Overall, the price of obtaining a college education in America is 1,100 percent higher than it was in 1978.” True. But why is this the case?

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson championed the Higher Education Act as part of his Great Society, to “strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary education.” Sounds great. At the time the total average tuition and room and board for private four year colleges was $1,907 – in today’s dollars! Today, at UVM those costs are $32,000 for in-state students.

This is what happens when government gets involved to make things “more affordable” for average citizens. They’re from the government, and they’re here to help. No thanks.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Flickr/

6 thoughts on “Roper: Hallquist’s ‘free tuition’ not free for property taxpayers

  1. Pre election pandering knows no bounds again.
    Dem/Progs can never help themselves.
    One vote getting gimmick after another.
    Offering free things or subsidized things via government programs. That is efficient?
    Releasing prisoners to save money to pay for the freebies?
    You just cannot make this up.
    Top of the head, opportunistic policy making?
    Political discourse hits another new low.
    A race to the bottom?
    Minter upping the anti with free community development loans?
    Pollani wants to tax the well off some more to hand freebies to others?

    Members of women organizations are sending out handwritten appeals to vote for Hallquist. My wife received several such letters.

    SCOTT SHOULD BE AWARE the socialist-leaning Dems/Progs are pulling out all the stops to get Hallquist elected, because he will restrict GUNS even more, will raise TAXES, have a CARBON tax, and start many new GOVERNMENT programs to help the “unfortunates”, always looking for more handouts, continue their dependency status.

  2. Wow, Vermont just think about it, you have your Very own Sen Bernie “Soapbox” Sanders with all his rhetoric, Medicare for All. No means how to pay for it, Oh wait he wants the 1% to pay for it. Good luck with that.

    Now you have Christine Hallquist spewing the same style rhetoric Free College like this article
    states it will come from Property Tax ” Increase ” I guess Christine is looking for the College Vote as she apparently doesn’t care about homeowners.

    Vermont, where do you get these people? You vote them in, you deserve what you get.

  3. Let me get this straight. If I vote for this Progressive candidate, she will assure me that my children and grandchildren will go to college for free? But they already move out of state with their degrees in search of better employment opportunities. That means they won’t be around to pay the tax increases required to fund this pipe dream.
    There has to be a catch. Oh, the money for all this? She thinks it will come from reduced prisoner counts? How so? Transferred from local school districts by cutting teacher salaries and benefits? How’s that gonna fly with the NEA? Aren’t we still underfunded in the pension funds? Somehow this smells fishy and you know what they say about fish and smells.
    It all sounds like a gimmick from a desperate candidate to sound appealing. Nah, not for me.

  4. She’s nothing but a Sanders wantabe. We hear the same blowhard statements from Sanders. Where’s the logic???? Where’s the money???? It’s so easy to blast your mouth.

Comments are closed.