Letters to the Editor: Tread carefully with taxes, Middlebury

As Mr. Lynn recently stated in his editorial regarding school consolidation, many of us who own property are living by the same mantra of take a deep breath, exhale, and repeat when it comes to the looming town-wide property reassessment. Those of us who have lived in Vermont for decades know, regardless of market realities, property reassessment usually means an increase in assessed value and likely a hike in taxes.
Middlebury would be well advised to take into account the body blow of decades of kicking the can down the road regarding infrastructure issues surrounding the railroad bridges has had on the fragile localvore economy. Businesses are struggling to pay rent and owners are seeing decreased revenue as a direct result. Downtown taxes are already stifling reinvestment in property and several iconic downtown buildings have been put on the market for the first time in decades.
The longstanding time bomb “tax and spend” ethos Middlebury has embraced for so many years has come to its fruition and Middlebury residents and businesses simply cannot bear the tax burden any longer. Over taxation has time and time again been shown to eventually harm the weakest among us.
I would hope Middlebury will do the right thing and realize that, even taking inflation into account, the value of an average property is lower than it was the last time it was assessed. Yet another tax gouge on residents and businesses will undoubtedly lead to even more for lease or for sale signs in windows, which will only magnify the issue at hand.
Anders Holm

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