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Old 08-16-2018, 05:14 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,135 posts, read 1,308,201 times
Reputation: 6092

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miu,

Are you in Vermont (your location shows MA/NH)? Property taxes are based on income here. If your family makes less than $100,000 or so, you do not pay the full property tax. Many in Vermont pay half or less than half of the stated property tax for their homes.

I find it sad that you have so little concern or respect for other people's children. They are our collective future, but it seems you can't see that.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:25 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,099 posts, read 34,528,599 times
Reputation: 16145
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamjedlicka View Post
The low income people in our town, or the ones who have only one working parent but have 2 or 3 kids (or plan to have 2 or 3 kids) have no issue whatsoever voting YES for increases that will not affect them because of the one income household. I have no kids and pay more in taxes with my little house than people with 2 or 3 kids and a much higher valued house. And they have no problem calling me unkind and inconsiderate when I yell about another $500 year increase. The education financing system in Vermont is BROKEN and unless something turns around, I'll be another taxpayer voting with my feet.
On a more positive note, I saw something on the news last night about possible forced mergers in November. I hope this happens with our school. It's long overdue.
It's a shame that VT is trying to attract more people, but it's tax structure is making some of its residents wanting to leave. If they are willing to offer incentives to move to VT, then they should consider some tax breaks for their current residents.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:43 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,099 posts, read 34,528,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
miu,

Are you in Vermont (your location shows MA/NH)? Property taxes are based on income here. If your family makes less than $100,000 or so, you do not pay the full property tax. Many in Vermont pay half or less than half of the stated property tax for their homes.
I was attracted to this thread because of its title. High taxes and high educational costs are of concern to all taxpayers, particularly the middle class ones. And for instance, in MA, they are trying to figure out a way to channel more money towards the urban schools. But should cities and towns with good reputation schools and good funding from local property taxes have to give money towards the under-performing schools in Boston? It doesn't seem fair that they should have to. And the MA state legislature couldn't come up with a solution.

Quote:
I find it sad that you have so little concern or respect for other people's children. They are our collective future, but it seems you can't see that.
What I feel very upset about, and other posters like pamjedlicka seem to have the same concerns, is that parents seem to have "little concern of respect" the financial struggles of childless home owners, that somehow we are held hostage to helping them educate their children... especially when their financial contribution in taxes paid is far lesser than ours.

I am all for having a good education and an intellectual mind. But the difference is, that my parents put in a lot of time and encouragement towards my siblings and me having a love for learning and thinking. Even at the age of 59, I am in search of books and other sources of knowledge. And it's because, as a young child, my parents took us frequently to museums, on nature walks and read to us books such as Stuart Little, Charlotte's Webb and Alice in Wonderland. My mother read to us one chapter a night from The Hobbit when I was in 3rd grade. Later on, evenings would be spent watching Masterpiece Theatre and NOVA together.

So my point is, my parents took our education very seriously. Time with them wasn't about planning trips to Disney or going to the movies. They didn't try to be our best friends, but rather guide us to become productive adults. The school system should not be the only educational vehicle for children. The parents must be actively involved.

And I have known many parents over the years, and also a good number of school teachers. The students who do well are those whose parents got involved with their schoolwork and trips to museums. And of the parents who just let the school system do the work of teaching their kids, their children didn't do as well and after graduation, didn't have the desire to go on to college. And the school teachers get burnt out from trying to inspire their students, but again, without the help of the parents, it's really a no win situation. And the teachers would rather work with students who are excited about learning, rather than trying to urge the uninterested students to keep up with the class.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:02 PM
 
2,780 posts, read 996,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
Certainly not true of our HS, which does a great job of feeding kids into the Tech Center in Hartford for half the day when that student's goals and aptitude dictate it. The STEM superstars get the opportunity to take Freshman Calculus at Dartmouth. I'm in our HS all the time as a frequent sub and very involved parent, our school has it's issues, but helping kids explore the right path for them sure isn't one of them. Vermont's Flexible Pathways is a fantastic program that supports all of this quite well.

Schools may seem STEM focused because the standardized testing is focused on those skills and when kids graduate without those STEM skills they school is blamed for 'not preparing them for the real world 21st century jobs." Even the TechEd kids need those skills to graduate, and beyond.

As for candidate Hallquist, I believe her comment about supporting public education was a counter to the continued, Federal, push to siphon off public education funds into the pockets of private educators {cough}Betsy Devos{cough}. I wouldn't presume some massive tax hikes just because said that, let's at least wait to hear her actual plan.

As for the TAX discussion, I've seen it for decades that the same people who vote "Yes" on every school budget increase while their kids are in school invariably start voting "No" once their kids are done with school. This isn't a renter vs owner problem, this is a selfishness problem and it's nationwide. There will always be people in ever town who only wish to extract the maximum for themselves, while never wanting to give a penny to anything they can't see a direct benefit from.
A selfishness problem? We are spending about $16,000 per kid per year. I am a town official and see people struggling to pay their taxes, even after State Payments get applied. I see older people leaving because they just can't afford it anymore. The worst part of it all is the astounding level of waste we incur keeping half empty schools open throughout the State. It's made all the worse by the fact that the tiny high schools cannot even remotely offer the kind of full curriculum that larger high schools offer. These tiny schools may be all warm and fuzzy, but they aren't serving the interests of the kids.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Vermont
1,334 posts, read 449,619 times
Reputation: 2002
Thank you biker53! Truth! I hope this talk of forced mergers goes somewhere.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:11 PM
 
284 posts, read 163,129 times
Reputation: 240
Since this thread was ressurected and seems interesting- I love learning how different states are - I wanted to add that I live in NY so the OP stating that taxes on a 350k house were 10k seems relatively normal to me. I had no idea Vermont property taxes are based on income? That seems awesome for a lot of people. Is it as simple as it sounds? Do you show pay stubs and then your tax is lowered? So interesting. In NY , we have “Star exemption” but typically it’s about $600 off a years worth of taxes. Depends on what town you live in. Seniors get an “enhanced star exemption- so more off their taxes. So, my house was $150k and my taxes are $5600 - $500 for my star so when all is said and done, I pay $5100. Houses that are about 2200 sq ft here have taxes hitting upper 9k-10k. In my moms town (about 35 min away) her taxes are over 9k. Same size house as mine, same size property.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:23 AM
 
2,780 posts, read 996,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamjedlicka View Post
Thank you biker53! Truth! I hope this talk of forced mergers goes somewhere.
A 3 town district next to mine still maintains 3 high schools that in total for the 3 schools had 64 kids graduate this year. Even if they merged into one school it would still be too few kids to offer a full curriculum. The reality is they could close all 3 high schools and send the kids to the high school in my town (a 4 town district), and our local high school would still be swimming in excess capacity and still wouldn't have enough kids to offer the kind of curriculum large suburban districts in more urban areas offer. That is the magnitude of waste that exists throughout the State. Forced mergers needs to happen, and soon.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:34 AM
 
2,780 posts, read 996,922 times
Reputation: 3678
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristenleex View Post
Since this thread was ressurected and seems interesting- I love learning how different states are - I wanted to add that I live in NY so the OP stating that taxes on a 350k house were 10k seems relatively normal to me. I had no idea Vermont property taxes are based on income? That seems awesome for a lot of people. Is it as simple as it sounds? Do you show pay stubs and then your tax is lowered? So interesting. In NY , we have “Star exemption” but typically it’s about $600 off a years worth of taxes. Depends on what town you live in. Seniors get an “enhanced star exemption- so more off their taxes. So, my house was $150k and my taxes are $5600 - $500 for my star so when all is said and done, I pay $5100. Houses that are about 2200 sq ft here have taxes hitting upper 9k-10k. In my moms town (about 35 min away) her taxes are over 9k. Same size house as mine, same size property.
When people file their VT State return they also file Homestead establishing residency. With that they can also file for State Payment which looks at their income vs their property taxes. Roughly 2/3's of households get some amount of subsidy so it is pretty generous. The only people paying their full property taxes are high income residents and all non-residents (which includes all commercial properties). With 2/3's of households getting subsidies, people have little incentive to vote budgets down or to pressure school districts to start eliminating the excess capacity.



In addition to half empty buildings, VT has the lowest student-teacher ratio in the nation. If my local elementary school has 15 kids per grade, we split them between two classes. I contrast that to the STEM based K-12 charter school in a large suburban district my granddaughters go to in NC. It is a modern facility with a curriculum far beyond what most kids in VT get. They put 20 kids per classroom in elementary school and spend less than half per student than what we do. My district here has a superintendent and all the periphery staff for lesser than 1,000 students. My granddaughter's district has a superintendent for 30,000 kids and you can bet the superintendent's office does not spend 30X more than my district does. Economies of scale matter when it comes to the total cost and it also benefits the kids with richer curriculums.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:48 AM
 
1,643 posts, read 2,102,086 times
Reputation: 1431
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
Teacher salaries are a minor issue really. We have a large number of school boards, districts, and the supervisory unions. Administrative costs are absurdly high here. We don't need to cut teachers, their salaries, or even textbooks to cut costs significantly. We need to cut down the number of administrators.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker53 View Post
A selfishness problem? We are spending about $16,000 per kid per year. I am a town official and see people struggling to pay their taxes, even after State Payments get applied. I see older people leaving because they just can't afford it anymore. The worst part of it all is the astounding level of waste we incur keeping half empty schools open throughout the State. It's made all the worse by the fact that the tiny high schools cannot even remotely offer the kind of full curriculum that larger high schools offer. These tiny schools may be all warm and fuzzy, but they aren't serving the interests of the kids.
I was speaking specifically to the people who vote YES when they have kids in school, and NO once their kids graduate. That's textbook "selfishness" as far as I'm concerned.

As for consolidating schools, I just spent 2 years of my life on an Act46 committee trying to convince surrounding towns to give up their astronomically priced school choice and consolidate into our local school, which has massive unused capacity. In the end, only 1/3 towns would vote for it. The State is going to step in at some point, and these towns will sue and fight tooth and nail to keep their small schools open, no matter what the cost. It is what it is. For anyone moving to Vermont right now, I'd suggest moving to a town with a large, established HS that isn't in any danger of being consolidated or closed, because anything else is a gamble.

fwiw, my town spends a very fair amount per equalized pupil, much lower than some surrounding HS's, all while putting kids into top Colleges. Our number is one of the lowest in the state of schools operating a full, Pre-K through 12. http://education.vermont.gov/documen...pending-fy2017

We are doing a lot of things right and I'll be happy to have my taxes support that success long after my son graduates.
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:21 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,935 posts, read 22,202,288 times
Reputation: 9019
The homestead declaration won't cover all of your property if you have a decent sized piece of land with your home though. For instance, I have 10 acres. The entire 10 acres isn't eligible to be a "homestead." Even though a deed restriction limits subdividing it smaller than 5 acres.
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