Governor Shumlin and Jeremy Dodge reach agreement in land deal

by Robert Maynard

The lawyers representing Jeremy Dodge and Governor Shumlin have reached a deal in principle, which would allow Dodge to buy back his property for $30,000.  The original deal had become a PR nightmare for Governor Shumlin, who had bought the property well below book value.  Dodge sold the property to pay off prporty taxes he could not afford and Governor Shumlin claimed that he was helping Dodge by buying the property.  Critics point to the fact that, given Dodge’s low income, he would have been eligible for several income sensitive programs to reduce his tax burden and would have only owed a fraction of the amount he was looking at.  If he had known that, it is unlikely he would have sold the house.  Given Governor Shumlin’s background in property tax related issues, some critics find it highly unlikely that he did not know about these income sensitive programs to reduce property tax burdens.  Not only did Shumlin fail to inform Dodge of these options, but he immediately proceeded to get the tax burden for the property lowered AFTER he bought it.

Now Jeremy Dodge gets to buy his property back for $30,000 and Governor Shumlin moves toward putting this issue behind him.  Here is a short excerpt from a Vermont Dgger article on this deal:

“The agreement involves a repayment of not everything, but a repayment of what the governor actually put out of pocket that benefited Jerry Dodge,” Diamond said. “And that exact amount still has a little question so that exact amount is still not disclosable at this time … Ballpark, it will be somewhere near $30,000.”

Both sides are verifying exactly what was paid to Dodge as part of a deal that would have totaled $58,000, had Shumlin and Dodge followed through with the agreement in its entirety.