Opinion: Problem with rising school taxes in Montpelier

The article “Lawmakers lament school tax hikes” (Addison Independent, March 13) made me concerned because the lawmakers didn’t see the disconnect between the school budgets’ changes and the state’s school property tax rate.
We have read multiple times about communities that had modest changes in their school budgets but with enormous changes to their property taxes. I notice this discrepancy and don’t see this as a problem of the local school boards. This is a statewide issue, as evidenced by the multiple failed budgets in Vermont.
If there were specific budget issues in specific communities we could point to, those communities would deal with them. If the issue is a statewide general property tax concern without any spending concern tied to it, than that indicates an issue in the state’s property tax system. Talking about how school districts need to make hard decisions or that consolidation would save money is not fair to the individual communities.
There are multiple facets to the issue, but a part of it does reside in how the state computes the property tax rate.
Jay Harrington

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