Opinion: Not everyone can afford to pass up deal with college

Most of us dislike the idea of selling property, particularly property we’ve owned for a long time. However distasteful, it is a choice to be considered when confronted with unexpected expenses.
The Middlebury selectboard has asked us to consider selling property so as to meet the burden of replacing the municipal building and gym. Others ask us to consider spending more of our income to keep the property and the buildings on it.
In evaluating these choices I think it is important to keep in mind the following: In measurement of wealth Middlebury ranks 166 out of 282 places in Vermont per capita income ($17,926); Addison County is eighth out of 14 by the same measure and within the county there are eight towns more wealthy; household income is below median for the state (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010); and our property tax rate is highest in the state (Public Assets Institute).
While it is understandable that for some it is most desirable to “spend a little bit more” to keep the property, we must respect that for others, “a little bit more” is a lot.
Peter Lebenbaum

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