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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Warren taxes

To The Editor:

Win Smith (Taxageddon, August 1, 2013) has written a poignant message regarding the unconscionable tax increase in Warren. Residents in the other Valley communities have not fared much better and should also pay heed to Mr. Smith's words.

Mr. Smith encourages you to contact your elected officials and makes it easy to do so by giving their email addresses. I urge you to follow his suggestion but further recommend that you contact the members of your select board and let them know they have failed in their responsibility to represent their constituents. For example, why did the Warren Select Board not make it clear to the residents how all the "needed" road improvements would raise this year's tax instead of mystifying it with a hodgepodge of statistics?

While voicing your concerns to your representatives is important, it does not let you off the hook for your role in the tax increase by failing to exercise your right and responsibility to vote. By not voting you are allowing a minority of the residents to make important decisions for you.

I wish I had a vote, but as a nonresident I don't have this privilege. Now that the select board has done to you what the state has been doing to the nonresidents with the unfair nonresidential education tax, perhaps you will understand why we resent it. The education tax in general is poorly written and discriminates against towns like Warren and the penalty on nonresidents is particularly onerous. While it would be appreciated if you would support nonresidents in getting the educational tax changed, you can certainly do something about your property tax by getting involved in your town's affairs and, above all, voting on all issues.

Mal Simon
Warren, VT, and Lincoln Park, NJ



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