Stem mass ‘climate immigration’ with high taxes on second-homes
by Robert Fireovid
A friend shared an email he received from Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D), the powerful Chair of the Housing Committee in the Vermont Senate…
“We are looking at a need for 20-40,000 housing units in the next decade. The higher end of that range is specifically due to the need to address climate refugees, as we are projected to be one of the more climate stable states in the country. If you believe in climate change, then you believe in the real possibility that some of our major US cities may become at least partially uninhabitable and forced migration will take place. We will need to be prepared for that, as we are already seeing climate immigrants who are purchasing second homes and eating into our year-round housing stock.”
Her attitude reminds me of a question related to wine making. In wine, yeast multiply like crazy and consume all the sugars from the grapes. At some point, however, the yeast population crashes in a mass die-off on account of running out of food and choking from the toxic levels of their own excrement (alcohol). The question is, are humans smarter than yeast?
We present-day Vermonters inherited a place with a lot of sweetness, such as plenty of elbow room, nature, natural resources, frugality, hardworking, self-reliance, self-governance (i.e., little government). It seems that the Senator wants to invite in tens of thousands of outsiders to consume our sweetness. In addition to losing our way of life, Vermonters may also lose the ability to feed ourselves and stay warm during our long Winters.
But we can be smarter than yeast. Let’s dramatically increase real-estate taxes on second homes, especially for seasonal non-residents. Let’s discourage outsiders who aren’t interested in protecting our beautiful sweetness and who in fact would happily devour it.
And if legislators want to demonstrate some real intelligence, they should first assess how much our population already exceeds Vermont’s capacity to provide current residents with the absolute essentials (e.g., food and energy). This information should be a starting point for any discussion, let alone legislation, about encouraging more people to come here.
Another question for Sen. Hinsdale, whose family is one of the largest real estate owners in Chittenden and Addison counties. It seems that her position on the Senate Committee on Housing makes her an inside lobbyist for her family. Isn’t this a violation of the State’s own conflict of interest laws?