School choice, service tax petitions gather steam

by Guy Page

A pair of Vermont petitions in support of two popular ‘conservative’ themes – school choice and low taxes – are gathering support.

The push for a ‘Cloud Tax’ by the Vermont Democratic House majority has prompted the VT GOP to pushing a petition to stop the proposed expansion of the sales tax to services. As of last night, the petition was just a few signatures short of 1000.

About 1000 Vermonters have signed the petition to not “expand the sales tax on services like haircuts, auto repairs, home improvements, even day care and tuition payments,” according to the Vermont GOP. “A service tax essentially means a tax on labor. Anyone who provides their labor is now going to need to collect and pay a new tax to the State. Anyone who owns their own barber shop, house cleaning service, lawn care or snow plowing – even babysitters and other child care professionals will now have to begin calculating and applying the tax to their service, and passing it on to every one of their customers.”

The idea for a service tax resurfaced in January, when proposed by the Vermont Tax Commission. Recently, the House passed S53, originally a tax exemption on feminine hygiene products, with an amendment to add taxes including a Cloud tax on online services including Hulu, Netflix, Pandora. The bill is back in the Senate for consideration of the House’s changes.

Meanwhile, 103 people have signed an Essex chool choice petition launched during school choice advocate Elizabeth Cady’s successful campaign to win a three year school board seat. The petition reads in part:

“Receiving taxes at one of the highest rates in the United States, Vermont’s public schools should be some of the best. However, this past year has seen the majority of children denied access to attend public school, lack of teachers in the public school classrooms, and the job of education given to parents trying to balance earning an income while still ensuring their children learn. Meanwhile, our private schools continue to open their doors each and every day to their students, educating their pupils to the fullest potential. Wouldn’t it be nice if those education dollars came with a choice to parents?”

The call for school choice has been well-received by some Essex conservatives. “It’s time for school choice,” 2020 legislative candidate Maryse Dunbar said. “Parents have the right to know HOW their children are educated. Teaching Socialist agendas to our children is not acceptable! Restore roots and education which made our country great.”

“Parents voices are not being heard or respected,” Christine Stone said. “I want my child to learn important skills like math and science and history. I do not believe it is the schools job to create activists.”

Categories: politics

4 replies »

  1. I personally WILL pay any One who works for me at my property in CASH with NO paperwork for the state to track. WHY should I fund an out of CONTROL on SPENDING WELFARE STATE. To allocate MY money to those who DO NOT add to society. OR projects with NO value to US the CITIZENS and VOTERS into a VERY CORRUPT SYSTEM .

  2. Maryse Dunbar write it up and let’s get it moving! Tuition follows the children at 75% of the going cost per student rate 2021 (future increases as usual), inclusive of ALL schools – homeschooled as well! We can hire teachers who want to teach and get the “blank” out of these indoctrination tanks!

  3. Odd that this article fails to mention the counter-petition that was started in response within the community to reject subsidizing private schooling with public tax dollars. This petition has more than double the signatures (257 at current count) of the petition referenced, above.

    Overwhelmingly at the polls, the people of Essex have shown that they value our Public Schools. Liz Cady is going find a community that is uninteresting in continuing the DeVos-inspired approach to funding our ESWD facilities.


  4. Regarding expanding taxes to include things like haircuts, car repairs, etc. I would say it again and again. Vermont State does NOT have an income problem, they have a SPENDING problem. We pay more than enough taxes to the State on more than enough things. It’s time that Montpelier realizes that they are NOT entitled to every penny we make in Vermont. This place is expensive enough in which to live. The expensive nature is, in large part due to decisions made in Montpelier. It is a legislator’s job to review the funding requests, the income received and with common sense prioritize the requests. When they’ve allocated the income, if there are more funding requests above that number, the answer has to be “No”. We do not have an economy in this state to support every wish and hair-brained idea. That also is in large part due to decisions the government has made. My family, your family, everybody’s family has to limit our expenses to our income. Since Vermont can’t print their own money, they also need to learn how to live within their means. We already can’t fund all of our obligations. Just stop!

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