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To The Editor:
Yikes! I just got my Warren property tax bill telling me my already too high taxes are going up over 12.5 percent. That is ______ (fill in the blank with crazy, unconscionable, unsustainable, usurious). Am I wrong, or is Mr. Bernanke telling me that there is little or no inflation? Am I wrong, or are there fewer students than there were a few years ago? Am I wrong, but aren't there more taxable properties on the list than there were a few years ago – Clay Brook, new houses, etc.? Did we increase our police protection? Oh, I know we didn't get some FEMA money we hoped for, yet we went ahead and spent anyway. But enough grousing. The issue now becomes how can I, on my fixed retirement income, come up with another 120 or so per month to pay for these insane taxes? Here's how:
• Eat out less. Sorry to the closed businesses: Arvad's, Jay's, Miguel's, Warren House, SweetWood, Egan's, et al.
• Attend fewer movies and plays. Sorry, Big Picture and Valley Players.
• Give less to the church, library and other charities. Sorry, all.
• Do not buy local. Why pay $3 for nine radishes at the Farmers' Market when I can get a couple dozen for $1.49 at the supermarket? Sorry, farmers.
• Make all my significant purchases (TVs, appliances, liquor, etc.) in New Hampshire. Sorry, Bisbee's, Mehuron's, etc.
• Ski less or not at all. Sorry, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen.
• Buy books, etc. online. Sorry, Tempest.
• Eliminate landline phone. Sorry, Waitsfield Telecom.
• Plant fewer (or no) flowers. Sorry, Mad River Garden Center and von Trapp Greenhouses.
• Get fewer haircuts. Sorry, High Country and Right Cut.
• Play less (or no) golf. Sorry, Sugarbush.
I guess I can manage to cover this year's outrageous increase in taxes by helping to put some nice folks out of business. But next year and the year after? I'll probably have to sell my house for less than the currently appraised value and move elsewhere. Sorry me.