Vermont is one of nine states plus the District of Columbia, more likely to tax the wealthy, a magazine study concluded.

The magazine's rankings are based on more than 20 tax-related categories, according to Robert Casey, the senior editor of Bloomberg Personal magazine.

According to the publication, states that are tax-friendly to people of wealth include: Wyoming, Alaska, Nevada, Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana and Tennessee. Places most likely to take from the rich were Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia, Maine, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin.

The inclusion of New York on the list doesn't sound like some of the TV spots we've seen in the Northeast Kingdom about a new business-friendly attitude in the Empire State. New York Democratic politicos complain the spots are intended to promote GOP Gov. George Pataki. But we still suspect he's friendlier to business than the liberals in the Vermont Legislature. In any event, Casey said there's a correlation between wealth-friendly tax policies and economic growth.

The survey found the top wealth-friendly states mostly have healthier economies. Their economic growth was 30 percent over five years compared with 18 percent for states at the bottom of the ranking.

Vermont's liberal lawmakers should wake up and realize that you can't continually promote soak-the-rich schemes & shy; apparently intended to include so-called "gold towns" under Act 60 & shy; and still promote economic growth in the long run.

Copyright 1997

The Caledonian-Record

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