George Carvill

Local-option sales tax: a discussion we need to have

As a Town Meeting Representative, I would value a discussion here about the local-option sales tax on the warning for Brattleboro Town Meeting on March 23.

Economics 101 says that sales taxes are regressive because they tax necessities that make up most of the spending of those on the lower economic rungs. But Vermont's tax exempts basics like food, clothing, drugs, etc. Recently, I spent over $100 at the grocery store and paid only 22 cents in sales tax on a box of Band-Aids.

Some folks I have talked to say that the sales-tax hike won't hurt those who are struggling because they and many others already do their shopping at Walmart in Hinsdale. Others say many can't afford transportation to get to Walmart and have to shop in Brattleboro.

One theory I heard holds that the tax could actually benefit renters. The idea is that if the town uses the new tax income to lower the property-tax rate, landlords will see their property taxes go down and maybe pass a little of the savings along in the form of better maintenance or lesser or no rent increases.

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Put kids first by voting no on merger

There is no such thing as a free lunch - and those who are trying to convince you otherwise are going to hurt the Brattleboro school kids if you believe them. I'm talking about the school mega-merger on the ballot for Nov. 7. The big merger plan calls for...

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