DEFEAT PROPOSED CAP ON CURRENT USE PROGRAM: A proposal to put a cap on the value of property that can be enrolled in the current use property tax program has been included in a Senate tax bill. This would create a significant disincentive for landowners to enroll their property in the program, which is one of Vermont’s most important and cost-effective tools for protecting working rural lands. (For more about our concerns with this proposal, read this letter.)
ACTION: Contact House Speaker Shap Smith at 802-828-2245 and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin at 802-828-3806, and ask them not to cap the Current Use program.
PRESERVE FUNDING FOR HOUSING & CONSERVATION BOARD: Funding for VHCB is at risk. The Governor’s proposed budget called for a major reduction in VHCB investments and the elimination of all funding for land conservation. The Legislature passed budgets that brought VHCB funding back up to a solid level, including a balanced investment in conservation. However, the state revenues have recently been downgraded and there is now a renewed possibility that VHCB funding will be drastically cut and that conservation may be eliminated. (For more about the importance of VHCB funding, visit the “Conservation Can’t Wait” webpage.)
ACTION: Contact House Speaker Shap Smith at 802-828-2245 and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin at 802-828-3806, and ask them to maintain the state’s investment in housing and conservation through VHCB.