Vermont taxes: Fair or unfair burden?

Not everyone agrees with ITEP's findings.

Long-time Vermont tax policy critic Martin Harris said, "The findings of the ITEP Report are highly distorted and the ITEP folks should know better. There's no mention of monetization of the value of food stamps, subsidized housing, or even Dr. Dinosaur, and applying those amounts as imputed income to the lower-income quintiles."

"The amounts are substantial: a Vermont family of four, for example, with MFI below $27,000, gets $668 per month in food stamps," Harris said. "That government freebie alone raises the real disposable MFI to over $34,000. And for Vermont families in the middle- and upper-income quintiles, money spent on food is after taxes not before."

Harris noted that Vermont's lower-income sectors get dollar-valued benefits in food, housing, medical services, even college scholarships.

"If added to their nominal income, this would reduce the actual percentage paid out in taxes by that sector," he said.

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