Thayer: Vermont is too expensive because of the Legislature

This commentary is by Gregory Thayer of Rutland. He is a candidate for lieutenant governor.

The number one issue facing Vermonters is the state of our economy. As Bill Clinton once said, “It’s the economy stupid.” I fault the Democratic leadership and legislators who voted yes on the annual budget. Yes there are items in the budget that are needed, but the overspending is out of pace with what we can afford.

It is expensive to live here in Vermont, to raise a family, to retire, or to own a business. Affordability is not synonymous to Vermont. It is the most beautiful place on God’s green earth. The majestic mountains, the rolling hills, the calms of the lakes, the soothing rivers, our clean air and water, the overall picturesque landscapes around our quaint state. As I have traveled all around Vermont, she is breathtaking. Our people are the best: hard working, dedicated, innovative, risk-takers, and full of life with positive energy and love for others and the environment that we all live, work and play in daily.

Gregory Thayer

Unfortunately, the Democratic leadership does not see the cost that they are accumulating against working Vermonters. They only want control over the people and systems, and they will do anything to achieve it. The media is in lock step with them, too. They are agenda-driven by their special interest groups around the country. It is time that “We The People” of Vermont stand up and take control of our beautiful state.

Vermont’s population is just north of 623,000, with a yearly population growth of 0.0% over the past five years to 2019. We rank 43rd of all 50 U.S. states in population growth. Vermont’s gross state product (GSP) in 2019 was $30.5 billion with an annual growth of 1.3% over the same 5-year period 2014 to 2019. We have the 10th highest cost-of-living standard across the nation. In 2021 the average house cost $314,562, according to MERIC index, and that is up 12% from the previous year. The median household income in Vermont is just under $48,000 annually in 2020. The cost of living in Vermont is roughly $47,397 for a single person living here in 2021 — ranking 40th highest in the U.S. but comparable to other New England states. (For information on the cost to live in Vermont, visit this link.)

We need change and new fresh ideas, and that is what I intend to bring to the lieutenant governor’s office. We need population growth, and we need to cut regulations that have caused our housing crunch. Developers and contractors cannot build or expand housing in Vermont because the regulatory cost due to expansive or out-of-touch regulations. Too many people are leaving Vermont because of the high cost of living and no housing, and it is expensive to maintain their homes, especially the high cost of property taxes.

Without sound housing we do not have a solid workforce. We need people to fill jobs, from skilled labor to unskilled laborers. We need people moving here to Vermont — and we need jobs, housing, and other tools to retain people here. Small business is the life blood to our economic prosperity.

I am running for the Vermont lieutenant governor to affect positive change. I have experience doing this hard work. We must elect people across Vermont that want to realize this same positive outlook. The current Democrat leadership under the Golden Dome do not hold these values or thinking. Their policies over the past 15 years are not working for the people of our state. My campaign is about  “We The People” — a common-sense approach to governing, and of listening to stakeholders.

Our state budget is out of control at $8.3 billion. Every legislator that voted for it, and over the years, are responsible for this affordability problem. Taxes and overburdening regulations are squeezing every Vermonter to make choices on what to pay for in their every day life. Being all things to all people is increasing the cost of living issues here, making it too expensive to live, work and play here. The current legislative leadership is responsible for this burden. We need serious people and personal responsibility to measure all state money programs.

Images courtesy of Public domain and Gregory Thayer

15 thoughts on “Thayer: Vermont is too expensive because of the Legislature

  1. In three years VT is in serious trouble. here’s how. Real estate values have soared. Most cities and towns have not done a reappraisal since the early to mid 2000’s. The State keeps data on the CLA (common level of appraisal) and when houses are selling far above current appraised values, the State forces a reappraisal to current market value. Most houses, if reappraised will soar 40% to 75% upwards….which is more value to tax. VT property taxes are already outrageous. Just wait till you get reppraised up 60%! MONTPELIER is doing one now and will be finished early 2023. But the crucial ISSUE is? 70% of Vt’ers get their propety taxes SUBSIDIZED…to where they pay no more than 2% of income! So if one of these persons house goes up 70% in value, and taxes go much higher, they are CAPPED at 2% of current income. SEE? WHO will make up the difference of a 60% increase in house taxable value, but the state SUBSIDY caps what they pay in. THE STATE OF VERMONT WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THE SUBSIDIZED 70%!. The state wide INCREASE huge in property values could blow a hole a mile wide in the State budget. And of course, no one in VT is taklking about it.

    • Re: “Most houses, if reappraised will soar 40% to 75% upwards….which is more value to tax.”

      Actually, Jeff, property taxes don’t increase just because property values increase across the board proportionately at the so-called ‘common level of appraisal’. If $200K homes are reappraised at $300K, and all ‘similar’ properties are reappraised proportionately, when the appraised value increases, the tax rate decreases.

      The only reason property taxes increase across the board is when spending increases, be it local municipal spending or the spending on the gorilla in the room (the education fund).

      Yes, property taxes are ‘capped’ based on income. The less you earn, the less you pay. It’s the same result as moving municipal and education spending to an income-based tax. But again, the gorilla in the room is education spending. Not only does the Vermont education fund get money from property tax, it dips into the lottery, vehicle registration fees, certain banking fees, and other obscure revenue sources.

      So, the problem isn’t our taxing method. It’s spending. When Vermont education costs are three times higher than in many other states, it’s little wonder Vermont is proving to be too expensive for the average middleclass person. Only the very wealthy and the very poor can afford to live here. And that’s not a sustainable model… as we are now seeing.

      • Jay, I know it is “supposed” to up work that way…on a property re appraisal…that all are lifted equally so taxes are same…but it NEVER works that way. I went thru TWO reappraisals on my house…each time they raised value “bigly” and EACH TIME…my property taxes went up HUGE…RIGHT AFTER the reppraisal….not as you say, after new spending budgets are done . Mine went up right away. I was not one of the ones …70% of Vt’ers…who are subsidized….I was one of the suckers – But I wised up – Buh-Bye.

      • they slipped in a new law….above 500k no more tax rebates. Kinda sux if you are retired. of course Burlington some how forgets to reappraisal for decades when it’s state statute…every 10 years regardless

        nothing to see here…

  2. The state government usurps so much of the states resources, it acts like a wet blanket on everything we do.

    “Fighting climate change” is just a slogan to advance further usurpations by the usurpers, and to further aggrandize their control of what is supposed to be OUR government.

    Out of state businesses avoid Vermont like the bubonic plague

    As a result, Vermont’s economy has become a nostalgic backward relic, with young families leaving for better opportunities elsewhere

  3. This is why I sold my home in VT last month and moved to South Carolina. VT did not want me or my beliefs in the state. I decided to take myself and my money elsewhere. This native Vermonter was just tired of the fight. To those of you who stay, I wish you good luck, and hope that someday common sense finds its way back to liberal VT.

  4. Are the voters really voting for this? Seems like somethings rotten in Denmark as my father used to say. What are voters getting out of voting for these reggressives? Here’s what I see, a bloated welfare state, unfunded pensions, underfunded retirement trust funds, excessive taxation, excessive regulations, excessive social justice non-profits supported by out of state liberal organizations, restrictive gun control in one of the safest states in the country, lack of prosecution of dangerous criminals all carrying illegal firearms and dealing drugs, unconstitutional lockdowns, forced injection of unapproved nanotechnology experimental injections, the promotion of unrestricted abortion, prostitution and the states taxation of marijuana and control of liquor and gambling and more. Need I go on? The indoctrination of children in schools, transgender grooming by teachers, citizens called racists, the state employees forced to attend mandatory equity and inclusion classes, who thinks up this crap. Government is supposed to foster life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of Happiness not misery. As politicians lie to your face at election time, invent untrue character attacks on conservatives and republicans and claim the planet is dying, scare the children in school and call parents white supremacists for protecting their children, I think my father was right. Something is rotten, but not in Denmark, it’s right here. The voters are either braindead, love misery, are uninformed by the liberal media or they are too lazy to reclaim this state from the destructive path its been on for over 20 years. I blame the voters for allowing this to happen.

    • Dano,

      I totally agree with most of what you said except for blaming the voters for what is happening.

      Those on the left show up to vote in great numbers because they agree with the representation that they are electing.

      In our Republican party we have been lied to by the rinos willing to sell us out to the socialist agenda and now are even proud enough to do it that they get on the media and boast.

      I for one am disgusted at Joe Benning who claims to be a successful attorney yet he begs for money from the hard-working taxpayer to support his motorcycle ride around the state of Vermont.

      I guess he’s not happy that he bleeds money from us while he destroys us in the Senate so he begs us to support his continued destruction while claiming he’s doing what is best for us.

      The voters in the state of Vermont are sick of people just like Joe Benning and the rest of these rinos that stab Us in the back at every opportunity but come begging for a vote when it’s time to re-elect them.

      It’s time to get rid of Jersey Joe and the rest of these rinos.

      This time we have a breath of fresh air and I’m hoping everyone shows up to vote the rhinos out of office and to vote Greg Thayer in as our new lieutenant governor.

      Greg deals with numbers everyday and he knows the value of a dollar.

      Greg grew up without a silver spoon in his mouth and knows that every dollar counts and that every taxpayer struggles from paycheck to paycheck to provide a bloated government with money to waste on their pet projects.

      Voting for Greg is a step in the right direction to get a grip on out of touch spending and the destruction of our constitutional rights and morality in the state of Vermont.

      • When I refer to blaming the voters, I’m referring to Dem/Prog voters that outnumber us. I’m with you on Greg, he has my vote as well as all other republicans who are not RINOs, IE. Phill Scott and Joe Benning come to mind. There are others. I will support true republicans; you are preaching to the choir here. Thanks for responding. PS, I ride too.

      • I agree with Dano in this regard. The problem rests with the voters. If the voters on the right don’t ‘show up to vote in great numbers’, is that not a problem with them?

        In my humble opinion, the problem is that the voters don’t recognize the systemic consequences of their actions. And the founders warned us about this problem. When the majority of voters become employed by the very government that levies taxes on its citizens, that majority will vote to sustain themselves at everyone else’s expense. It’s the proverbial case of two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

        But what the left, people like Joe Benning, apparently don’t understand is that, sooner or later, they will have eaten all the sheep. And then what?

        Well, for one thing, they can recruit more sheep… and, for example, herd them in from our southern border to take the place of the middleclass they’ve already consumed.

        Again, consider the famous Twilight Zone episode ‘To Serve Man’, based on Damon Knight’s 1950 short story, when international leaders begin to be persuaded by an alien race whose benevolence becomes apparent when their manual of advanced technology puts an end to hunger, energy shortages, and the arms race. But too late for some, the manual is discovered to be a cookbook.

        When will we ever learn?

  5. My question is are most Vermonters that dense to not understand what is happening?
    Someone posted on FB that there are republican led southern states that are very poor. What is their cost of living to wages? If you’re making $10K a month but it costs $9999 a month to live then that is a failure.

  6. Hey, Vermonter’s how do you like your cost of living in the state, unfunded liabilities, taxes
    galore, so we can’t blame Trump, we can’t blame Putin, but we can ” blame” the liberals
    and all the legislative nonsense coming from Montpelier from under the ” Golden Doom “.

    Yes, doom, and you’re feeling it, wait until they pass their new boondoggle, to save the world
    under their costly CO2 plan !!

    Keep working hard to try and catch up, you’ll need to work harder so they can fund more of
    the liberal nonsense, …… they have a plan for your tax dollars, and the only voice you have
    is to vote them out !!

    • Anybody with half a brain knows that terraforming planet Earth is not feasible. It’s definitely not about CO2…It’s about control. The socialists are preying on the emotional turmoil caused by this natural and predicted geological event so that they can seize more control, more power.

      Instead of preparing for the inevitable and allowing the creative power of a free, capitalist and democratic society to find reasonable solutions, they want to cut the legs out from under us and seize control. This has happened in the past, and those societies under the grip of socialism vanished from the face of the Earth when it did.

      Mr. Thayer brings a glimmer of hope to Vermonters, that we can and will overcome the non-sensical rantings of those who seem to want to oppress the people of this proud but vulnerable state.

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