Financial Windfall for Wealthy Villagers
January 15, 2021
Selectboard Chair Elaine Haney and Trustee George Tyler are the Bonnie and Clyde of merger mania. Unlike the real Bonnie and Clyde, they are neither bank robbers nor bad people, but they are coming for your money. And that is what merger is all about: money.
Very little about the proposed merger makes sense. It does not reduce municipal costs; it will likely increase them. It does not heal division; the trustees’ version promises everlasting struggles over who will dominate future Selectboards.
Said Tyler at the 10/20/20 Joint Meeting, “We didn’t set the merger up for the Town to absorb the Village. … So get ready, Town Selectboard your culture is gonna change, if merger is successful.” Its timing, too, is insulting, coming amid a pandemic, when individuals and families worry about their health, their jobs and their incomes.
So, why now? Frankly, Bonnie and Clyde (Haney and Tyler) want their money and they want it now! Both — and/or their partners — will personally benefit from redistributing wealth from the pockets of middle income and other property owners outside the village to property owners in the village. Because higher-income villagers likely own the priciest properties, they would receive the greatest tax cuts.
Don’t, don’t, don’t buy the bait-and-switch “promise” that a twelve-year phase-in of the tax shift will soften the financial blow. The Legislature may not approve it, or the phase-in could be repealed at any time. Haney admits as much at the 8/13/20 Selectboard Meeting. The earlier it goes away, the sooner the wealthy get their windfall. By contrast, your tax bill could jump by $300, $400, $500 or more overnight.
Where the real Bonnie and Clyde were not content with robbing just one bank, our local version isn't done either. Already, they are plotting a local sales tax, which will fall most heavily on those with less income. Not them.
Enough is enough. Send ‘em a message: Vote NO on the phony merger!
Bruce S. Post, a former Selectboard member, was chief of staff for 1980 presidential candidate U.S. Congressman John B. Anderson