On Thursday, Rep. Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe) attempted to restore the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission’s mission to look at property tax reform with an amendment to H.229. Even though H.229 is about school finance legislation (it would repeal the “two vote” requirement for school districts spending more than the statewide per pupil average to hold a second vote to approve the extra spending) Scheuermann’s amendment was found “non-germane” and was not taken up for debate or a vote.
It’s clear that the Democratic leadership does not want a discussion or to be held accountable on this issue. The Blue Ribbon Tax Commission, having made an eighteen month study and recommendations on income and sales taxes, was originally charged with performing a similar service for our broken property tax system. That mission was gutted by the legislature earlier this session.
It is worth noting that Rep. Scheuermann’s proposal and presentation briefing happened almost at the same time as the presentation by legislators Pearson, Pollina, Davis and McCormack calling for higher taxes. The “raise taxes” camp was the focus of several news stories by the AP, Burlington Free Press, VPR, and more. The property tax “reform” story got an aside mention in an article in the Free Press.