Vermont Representative Martin LaLonde
South Burlington, VT – Vermont Representative and South Burlington School Board Member Martin LaLonde announced a property tax reform and climate action proposal today at the headquarters of Ben & Jerry’s.
Representative LaLonde’s bill would provide much-needed property tax relief by lowering the statewide property tax rate. The proposal would diversify and stabilize Vermont’s education financing system. To fund this initiative, the bill implements a fee on carbon dioxide pollution to be paid by the companies that distribute fossil fuels in Vermont.
“As a state representative and a school board member, I am keenly aware of the frustration and anxiety Vermonters have with rising property taxes. This bill offers relief. It will be good for our schools and good for future generations of Vermont children,” said Representative LaLonde. “It aligns our tax code with Vermont’s needs and goals.”
Carbon pollution pricing is used around the world to address climate change and strengthen local economies. Republican Governor Jim Douglas implemented Vermont’s first price on carbon pollution in its electricity sector through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — and it is working. RGGI states have reduced emissions by 16% more than other states and seen 3.6% more economic growth since RGGI launched, while Vermont has the second lowest electric rates and the fastest GDP growth rate in New England. Representative LaLonde’s bill would expand that successful model to Vermont’s transportation and heating sectors.
“Climate change is real and it’s bad, but there’s hope. If we work together we can cut the carbon pollution that is causing global warming while also offering property tax relief,” said Geo Honigford, a farmer and school board member from South Royalton.
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Executive Director Jane Campbell said there is growing concern among the business community around climate change’s impact on the economy. “Proposals like this one can help Vermont combat climate change and create local, good-paying jobs in the clean energy economy,” Campbell said.
The legislation will be introduced at the Vermont State House this week and once filed can be found here: www.legislature.vermont.gov