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Burlington: America's healthiest city

The Centers for Disease Control recently named Burlington the healthiest city in America.

The designation was based on several factors, including a survey of residents' own sense of wellbeing, poverty levels, and level of civic engagement. As with many accolades received by Burlington, this is one that can be shared by the entire community: government at all levels, institutions, the non-profit and business sector and, most of all, an active and engaged citizenry.

Even in a difficult national housing market, the Burlington area continues to be a safe bet for real estate, according to a review of housing data conducted by Kiplinger.com reporter Louis Jones and published on-line on Yahoo! Real Estate. In an article titled "Safe Havens in Real Estate" published on Nov. 21, Burlington is listed along with five other areas across the country that have a healthy real estate market, especially in comparison to the rest of the country. The determination that Burlington continues to be a good real estate option is supported by data from a home-price research company, Fiserv Lending Solutions, showing "slow, steady growth" in the real estate market.

The CASH Coalition - a group which includes nonprofits, banks, and credit unions, the City of Burlington, the IRS and other government agencies - exists to create assets, savings and hope among low-income residents of Chittenden County. One of the most important activities of this Coalition is providing free tax preparation assistance to households with incomes of $42,000 or less. Last year, over fifty IRS-certified volunteers helped 1,300 low-income taxpayers access over $1.2 million in federal and state refunds. For many of those clients, their refunds represent the single largest sum of money they will see all year. Using the free preparation services, they were able to save an estimated $325,000 in tax preparation fees.

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