McCoy: Home registry bill is government overreach gone TOO FAR

By House Minority Leader Pattie McCoy
Being first sometimes means coming in last. Vermont has sure had a lot of “firsts” over the years–the first state to abolish slavery; the first state to allow civil unions for same-sex couples; the first state to allow the importation of lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada; and so on. These are good firsts. But not all “firsts” are created equally.

Vermont House Minority Leader Rep. Pattie McCoy

A bill before the Vermont Legislature, S.79, would make Vermont the first state in the nation to have a statewide, government-run, centralized registry of all privately owned homes being rented out. This unnecessary expansion of government into your lives would cost the state over a million dollars each year – but don’t worry, because proponents want to pay for that by levying a new fee on as many as 80,000 Vermont homeowners, in the midst of our economic recovery. Brilliant, right?

From my time as a municipal clerk to my service in the Vermont Legislature, I’ve seen the hand of state government slowly creep further and further into the lives of everyday Vermonters. I liken it to this: Imagine, for example, living next to a volcano with lava flowing ever so slowly as to cause no initial alarm–but before you know it, your house, your driveway, and your whole property are surrounded by it. That’s precisely what Vermont government has become–a steady flow of lava encroaching upon every one of us. And we should be deeply concerned by it.

Putting aside the intrusion into Vermonters’ lives, this bill simply doesn’t make logical sense either. Consider this: the legislation creates 6.5 new taxpayer-financed, state government positions at a total expense of $850,000 for compensation. I’m no mathematician, but by my calculation, that works out to more than $130,000 annually in pay and benefits for each of these 6.5 new bureaucratic positions. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Vermont was less than $62,000. This proposal should be insulting to each and every Vermonter struggling to make ends meet.

Put simply, this latest legislation is another attempt to unnecessarily expand the scope of bureaucracy into the private lives of Vermonters. There’s no compelling reason to create a new registry, financed by a new fee on Vermonters, to support new taxpayer-funded bureaucratic jobs.

Thankfully, the Vermont House Republican Caucus was able to delay this legislation from being considered – for the time being. But, rest assured, the Democrat Majority in the State House is eagerly awaiting its turn to rush it through next time the Legislature convenes.

I encourage all Vermonters to let their state legislators know how they feel about this proposal.

Categories: Commentary

7 replies »

  1. and of course, no home will pass registration unless it meets the latest heating and weatherization standards—no fossil fuel heating systems and a Level 2 EV charging station within the home.

  2. Thank you Pattie for exposing S79 for what it is, a State take over of Vermont’s rental market and I might add, a way to quietly kill the Airbnb type rentals that lets lower income Vermonters to earn a small income so that they can stay in their properties longer which goes a long ways to help pay for property maintenance and their taxes that are already too high. I appreciate the Republicans efforts in the House.

    Sen. Russ Ingalls

  3. Before they come after private property they have to come after the concept of private property. The term they use is ‘nudging’. Their ultimate goal is the Rational State; the Totalitarian Society. Individuals don’t exist outside of groups. Rights are dispensed to groups according to an oppressor verse oppressed matrix. The only people more dangerous than these people are the people who vote them into office.

  4. Laws are intended to promote the common good. We tolerate legislation overriding individual rights/responsibility if it is securing some compelling common good with minimal intrusion into our lives. Its value…its success is judged by its accomplishment of these two objectives…common good & minimal intrusion. This registry of homes doing rental business is singularly unconvincing as a “common good” and outrageous in its intrusiveness. The rationale behind this kind of legislation would support having an expanded bureaucracy counting our sock and underwear in pursuit of the common good of better hygiene…AND CHARGING US FOR THIS SERVICE. Folks, do people who think this way represent us?

  5. My God – so the Seat Belt Use enforcement law is secondary in VT because merely a couple of decades ago Vermonters ranted & raved about the State attempting to tell them what they could & couldn’t do in their motor vehicles……and now all this in just a couple of years!!!!

    WHERE have all the ol’ Vermonters gone who stood for maintaining the citizenry as independent as possible & not infringing on our God-given and Constitutional rights???

    VERMONT: Awake from your deep slumber, before we are ALL walking in step.

  6. With all due respect, Republican legislators convey concern of government overreach and creeping into our lives, yet Governor Scott is a Republican (RINO?) and he is the most invasive, pandering, leftist Governor we have ever seen in this State. I can’t take these people seriously and I can’t take their rhetoric anymore. I can’t believe anything they say – their inactions speak volumes over their words

  7. Sounding the alarm is what is needed so touché on this read Pattie. When does it stop – not enough people are objecting – the devil is in the details – there are measurements already in place to handle rental property so not only is this overreach it’s double speak and yet another avenue to collect – collect – collect! Close the Hill – recall them all – lawless at it’s best! Less Government now!

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