• Who do I owe?
     | November 19,2012

    Just made my property tax payment.

    Saved some money because of my homeownerís rebate. I want to thank someone, but I canít figure out whom to thank. They paid $400 of my property taxes; I have no idea why. My family income is well above the median. My house is valued at median. My family isnít in poverty or crisis, but I got a rebate. Why?

    Whoís paying my taxes?

    Whoíll be paying them next year?

    The Legislature seems to be forever battling a multi-million dollar shortfall while Iím getting rebates.

    Will lawmakers short the retirement fund? Lay off a state trooper? Close a rest stop? Delay replacing a bridge?

    Or will they raise a few fees? Tax sugar and soda? Or raise the education tax?

    Donít take my money, or my neighborís money, or a retireeís money, or a visitorís money to fund my rebate.

    Donít tax what I eat, drink, or breathe to fund my rebate.

    Donít tax my hospital stay, my doctorís visit, or my dental care to fund my rebate.

    Quite simply, donít give me a rebate.

    Donít get me wrong. My property taxes are way too high. No wonder; my school has more aides than classroom teachers.

    It has as many administrators, social workers and behaviorists as educators.

    I can send a child to college for the per-student cost of elementary school.

    But I donít want a rebate; just lower my taxes. Any taxes.

    Gasoline taxes. Income taxes. Sales taxes. Entertainment taxes. Meal taxes. Utility taxes. Property taxes. Pick one or two.

    Let me keep my money. Donít send me a ďgift.Ē I donít need it. I donít want it. I donít like it.

    I trust your intention was good, but every good intention is riddled with waste. I didnít scheme to get mine.

    How many people who make a lot more than I do have homes worth far more than mine, and get rebates many times larger?

    Whoís picking up the tab?

    Elections are over.

    I hope the 2013 edition of the Vermont Legislature works to cut programs and cut spending, not to raise ó and waste ó taxes.

    George Malek lives in East Barre.

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