The convention’s first speaker, Leroy Turner, represents Citizens for Property Rights. He has served on local and regional planning commissions and has been a believer and defender of property rights his entire life. He spoke about property taxes, regulations, and education funding in Vermont.
Below is video footage of his talk:
Notes taken from his talk:
Citizens for Property Rights Vermont (CPRVT) was founded in 1989 in response to Vermont’s act 200 with 350 members – The state of Vermont believed every town should have a plan at city and county level in accordance with the state master plan. CPRVT started a petition drive for towns to not participate in act 200.
CPRVT is currently working on lakefront property owners rights being infringed by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
Current CPRVT membership at 50 members, and their upcoming focus will be on act 60/68 – The equal education oppurtunity act, created in 1997.
Vermont’s Act 60/68 was “intended to achieve a fair balance of educational spending across school districts, independent of the degree of prosperity within each district” The law was in response to a Vermont Supreme Court decision in the Brigham vs. State of Vermont case, wherein the court ruled that Vermont’s then existing educational funding system was unconstitutional, because it allowed students in towns with higher total property values to receive a higher level of education funding per pupil than students in towns with lower property values.
Wikipedia definition of Vermont Act 60/68
Vermont’s Act 60 was a new funding system for education; as a CPR member Leroy does not interpret the Vermont constitution does not support the court’s decision, and there should be a separation of power (a check and balance system). Act 60 was quickly followed by 68 and 130 to fix the inbalances of act 60. School population declines while the property tax increases, his solution would be to repeal act 60; such as Heidi Sherman and Patti Komline’s recent proposal, which was voted down by the legislature.
If we cannot have our representatives in Washington or Montpelier or help us, then we need to replace them;
He asks people what they should do about it the problem, and they say they vote, which is good, but they don’t like the candidates, and so they vote for the lesser of two evils.
Encourages people to run for office, or find someone to run for office.
CPRVT is looking for new members, Annual dues of $20, or what ever you can afford, more info:
Q & A
Has been any lawsuits to challenge act 60/68?
In NH, there was pushback from school board members against the state on the constitutional referendum route, which could override the court decision. Also, the local control position can also help as well. Once
you lose the schools’ future generation, you’ve lost society. Not that we know of, hard to overturn with no change to judges on the court.
A Newfane school board member when Act 60/68 was passed; grateful for his community able to vote on budgets at town meeting. In the event Brigham is overturned, is it a solution?
Voucher system could be one possible solution, but some towns have also privatized their school district, which the legislature placed a 2 year moratorium on privatization.
He would personally prefer backing local control.
What was act 60/68 intended to do & the outcome? Was it the financial equity or test scores diving it?
Equal access to education, but confused equal spending with education, such as money spent per student.
The 2 year moratorium isn’t law yet, but the consolidation bill will come back next session, and tuitioning models under scrutiny as well.
Current media headlines show there is a push for 5 year olds to enter public school system.
What is act 68?
Act 68 was passed under Republican control to fix inbalances (rather than just repealing act 60), while act 60 was passed under Democrat control.
Income sensitivity: no more than 5% of income for property taxes, also need to convince Vermont renters that they also pay property taxes.
One potential funding measure being considered by the state is a statewide residential rate and replacing with income tax; Renter’s rebate would be removed, making them pay twice, as the majority of Vermonters are renters.
Leroy Turner of Citizens for Property Rights Vermont was one of the six speakers for Vermont Libertarian Party Convention on April 26th, 2014. More notes to follow, stay tuned.