Sen. Pollina Pushes for a More Progressive Tax Structure

Sen. Anthony Pollina (Washington Co - P/D) is pushing this legislative session to better and more equitably fund Vermont's education system. Pollina's bill (S.175) seeks to fund state education based on income rather than property taxes, placing more of the burden on those who can afford it rather than continuing to squeeze Vermont's working- and middle-class, who typically pay a higher percentage of their income in property taxes than do wealthy Vermonters. 


Families earning up to $100,000 annually pay about 3% of their income in property taxes. Meanwhile, he said those with incomes of $300,000 and $500,000 pay less than 2% and 1% (respectively). Those earning more than $1 million a year pay less than 0.5% of their income.

 

“It’s just not fair," Pollina said. "If we have a law that says it’s fair for middle class homeowners to pay 3% of their income to fund local schools, it’s only fair to have others do the same.”


If S.175 passes, Vermonters who earn more than $90,000 annually would complete an income adjustment form and either pay based on the value of their homestead, or the same tax percentage that lower-income families have to pay (whichever is greater). 

 

Not only would this bill raise some much-needed state revenue, it would also lower the statewide property tax rate. Pollina says the bill will mean that a few people (those who can most afford it) will pay more, but the majority of Vermonters will end up paying less. "The bottom line is that is restores fairness and can give middle-income families some much-needed relief."