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Killington to rest of Vermont: Stop taking us for granite

Killington, Vermont, is a small ski-resort town, barely a thousand permanent residents, and usually second only to Stowe in the esteem of skiers. They also have been paying about $20 million dollars a year to the state in taxes. They fought that in court, won in a lower court, but lost in the State Supreme Court.

Some people, at that point, would look at taking it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Others would just sigh and give up. Not the people of Killington, though. They went looking for a third option, and found it about 30 miles east.

They’re petitioning to secede from Vermont and join New Hampshire.

Now, technically speaking, this is possible. There is a legal procedure for a community seceding from one state and joining another. It takes the approval of the residents, the legislatures of both affected states, and the approval of Congress. And so far, the appropriate bill has been introduced into the New Hampshire House, while New Hampshire’s congressional delegation has pledged to introduce the measure in Congress.

New Hampshire would welcome Killington. While our property taxes are pretty high, and Killington would net us an additional estimated $10 million a year, we don’t have either a state-wide sales or income tax. Killingtoners would save hugely on those grounds. And there is precedent; one could make a fairly reasonable argument that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan ought to be part of Wisconsin.

For years, Killington has been the goose laying the golden egg for Vermont’s state budget. But the goose is tired of getting plucked (to mix my metaphors) and is looking to take wing for a more hospitable coop.

Practically speaking, I don’t see this happening. While I see no problem in getting the New Hampshire legislature approving the transfer (we’d dearly love to stick our finger in the eyes of our overly-liberal neighbors), and Killington’s already made it’s preference clear, it could face some serious difficulty in Washington. Between the importance of the New Hampshire presidential primary and the fact that our delegation outnumbers theirs (we have two Representatives to their one) and has seniority, it might squeak through, but it would be a near thing.

But I seriously doubt it would get through the Vermont legislature. They’ve grown fat and lazy and comfortable on the money they’ve gotten from Killington, and they’re not about to let things as simple as rights of liberty and self-determination to discomfort them.

But damn, it’s providing great entertainment while it lasts. And who knows? Maybe it’ll shake some sense into those Green Mountain loonies, those Vermonsters, those fine folks who gave the country Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders (the only socialist to serve in Congress).

J.


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Comments (4)

Too funny that you posted t... (Below threshold)
jen:

Too funny that you posted this today. I was just talking with a friend yesterday about this very thing (mostly it was a conversation about how weird most of Vermont is).

I recently purchased a vact... (Below threshold)
mark:

I recently purchased a vactaion home in VT, and in driving around the state one comes upon signs, banners and barns painted with the slogan "Take Back Vermont". I would venture a guess that these are aimed at the flatlander crowd from NY-CT-MA that has moved in over the years and taken VT gov't to the extreme liberal position that it is in today.

A town in Utah actually did... (Below threshold)
Steve the Llamabutcher:

A town in Utah actually did this a few years back, becoming part of Nevada. But it was right on the border.

Steve, that sounds interest... (Below threshold)

Steve, that sounds interesting. I'd be eager to read up on it. What was the name of the town?




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