More taxes on staying warm!
To the Editor:
The forum article in the Newport Daily Express of Dec. 26 and a week earlier in The Caledonian-Record by John McClaughry, vice-president of the distinguished Ethan Allen Institute, brings to the forefront what is currently happening in our Vermont government regarding heating fuel legislation about to become law. What McClaughry tells us in his straight forward manner, it that the "Thermal Efficiency Task Force," contrived by the Vermont's Public Service Department (Board), proposes new programs to persuade, advocate, regulate and mandate, more taxes on our heat. This "Task Force" proposes a 'new energy efficiency excise tax' on fuel oil, propane, kerosene and natural gas and guess WHO would be paying this tax: hospitals, businesses, schools, state and local governments (our money), yes, and further, you and I, friends. This is because we are the 70 percent of Vermonters who heat our homes with oil and propane.
What is wrong about this is that the state government will be mandated by the "Efficiency Task Force" (Tax Force!), to take charge of this program by making our decisions for us! ... and sending us the "tax bill." They are talking $260 million! I resent the idea that my state government wants to dictate any decisions to me, that are my prerogative to decide, or to take away my power as a citizen by mandating anything. Perhaps, in fact, we should declare the "Thermal Efficiency Task Force ... illegal!!! It is with this in mind that I suggest that we should take a deep interest in this issue that John McClaughry has set before us. As citizens it would be prudent for us to look into what is happening in Vermont, to the citizens. This new and unwarranted boldness by Vermont government became evident when we read in the newspapers and saw on television how our citizens were treated during recent wind tower demonstrations at Lowell, Vermont.
I see it again in connection with the Shumlin Administration and again connected to the Public Service Board. What is happening?