YCQM March 4, 2018

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> Announcer: FROM WCAX, THIS IS
"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
>> Darren: GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST YOU.
FEDERAL TAX CHANGES HITTING SOME
VERMONT FAMILIES HARD.
THE STATE'S TAX COMMISSIONER
JOINS ME IN JUST A BIT.
>>> ALSO, CAMPAIGN COUNTDOWN IN
THE BURLINGTON MAYOR'S RACE.
MEET THE CANDIDATES MAKING THEIR
FINAL PUSH BEFORE TOWN MEETING
DAY.
>>> AND PROGRESS REPORT ON THE
F-35, PLUS CONTROVERSY
SURROUNDING A BALLOT QUESTION
ABOUT THE FIGHTER JET.
THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS
MORNING.
VERMONTERS WILL GET TO SEE AND
HEAR AN F-35 FIGHTER JET SOME
TIME THIS YEAR.
THE GUARD SAYS IT'S BRINGING AT
LEAST ONE OR TWO HERE FOR
TRAINING PURPOSES AND TO SHOW
ITS MEMBERS THE PLANE THAT WILL
ARRIVE FULL-TIME IN 18 MONTHS.
WE'RE TOLD THE MEDIA WILL ALSO
GET A LOOK AT THE PLANE, SO
WE'LL SEE JUST HOW LOUD IT IS.
IT'S NOT CLEAR WHEN THAT DEMO
WILL HAPPEN YET, BUT SOME TIME
IN 2018.
CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES AT THE
GUARD TO GET READY FOR THE 18
FIGHTER JETS THAT WILL BE BASED
AT THE BURLINGTON AIRPORT, A
DECISION THAT HAS SPARKED NEARLY
A DECADE OF DEBATE.
>> THE AIR FORCE MADE HER
DECISION AND AS YOU CAN SEE, WE
PUT A LOT OF EFFORTS TOWARDS
THAT DECISION, SO THE PROUD MEN
AND WOMEN OF THE VERMONT AIR
NATIONAL GUARD ARE GETTING READY
FOR THE F-35.
THE JET IS 18 MONTHS AWAY FROM
COMING HERE AND THAT'S OUR SOLE
FOCUS.
AND SO IN OUR MIND, WE ARE READY
FOR THE F-35 IN BURLINGTON,
VERMONT.
>> Darren: BUT OPPONENTS ARE NOT
GIVING UP THE FIGHT.
THEY PUSHED FOR A NONBINDING
QUESTION ON THE MARCH BALLOT,
QUESTIONING CANCELLATION OF F-35
BASING AT THE BURLINGTON
AIRPORT.
THEY GOT ENOUGH SIGNATURES TO
PUT IT TO A VOTE ON TOWN MEETING
DAY ON TUESDAY.
HERE'S HOW IT READS.
SHALL WE, THE VOTERS OF THE CITY
OF BURLINGTON, AS PART OF OUR
STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE MEN AND
WOMEN OF THE VERMONT NATIONAL
GUARD AND ESPECIALLY THEIR
MISSION TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS
OF VERMONT, ADVISE THE CITY
COUNCIL TO, ONE, REQUEST THE
CANCELLATION OF THE PLANNED
BASING OF THE F-35 AT BURLINGTON
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AND TWO,
REQUEST INSTEAD, LOW-NOISE LEVEL
EQUIPMENT WITH A PROVEN HIGH
SAFETY RECORD APPROPRIATE FOR A
DENSELY POPULATED AREA?
MEMBERS OF THE VERMONT GUARD SAY
THE QUESTION COULD TRICK VOTERS.
>> WHAT IN THAT QUESTION
SPECIFICALLY DO YOU CHARACTERIZE
AS PERHAPS MISLEADING TO THE
VOTERS IN BURLINGTON?
WHAT IN THAT BALLOT QUESTION IS
MISLEADING AND DOES IT REALLY
MATTER IF THIS IS A NONBINDING
QUESTION?
>> OKAY.
GREAT QUESTION THERE.
THE FIRST THING IT SAYS IT'S IN
SUPPORT OF THE VERMONT NATIONAL
GUARD.
NO ONE HAS ASKED US WHETHER IT'S
SUPPORTING US OR NOT, SO FROM
THAT PERSPECTIVE, I THINK THAT'S
MISLEADING.
ALSO THINK THERE'S SOME
INACCURACIES, MAKING IT SOUND
LIKE -- AND WE TALKED ABOUT THIS
FEBRUARY 9th AT THE PRESS
CONFERENCE, YOU CAN PICK AND
CHOOSE WHATEVER AIRCRAFT YOU
WANT HERE ON ANY DAY.
THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS.
IT TAKES A NUMBER OF YEARS TO GO
THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND I'VE
SEEN IN THE PAPER THE C-130 AND
IT'S MENTIONED THAT THAT'S AN
ALTERNATIVE.
THE AIR FORCE IS ACTUALLY
LOOKING TO REDUCE THE NUMBER.
THERE'S A REPORT THEY PROVIDED
IN 2015 TO CONGRESS ABOUT HOW
THEY WANT TO REDUCE THE NUMBER
OF C-130s, SO IT'S NOT LIKE
THERE'S A BUNCH OF THEM OUT
THERE JUST WAITING FOR A PLACE
TO GO.
SO WE SEE THAT AS MISLEADING,
INACCURATE.
AS I SAID ON 9 FEBRUARY, COLONEL
HARDER ADDRESSED IT BEFORE THE
CITY COUNCIL IN JANUARY AND I'LL
GIVE HIM THE PODIUM IN JUST A
MINUTE IF HE WANTS TO REPEAT HIS
WORDS THEN.
THEN YOU ASK THE QUESTION, DOES
IT MATTER.
WELL, IT MATTERS TO THE VOTERS.
IF THEY'RE GOING TO SHOW
SUPPORT, WE SAY THAT IT'S
MISLEADING, IT'S INACCURATE, AND
TO US, A VOTE OF NOT IN SUPPORT
OF THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD.
>> Darren: CRITICS ALSO SAY THE
FIGHTER JET IS TOO LOUD, BUT THE
GUARD SAYS IT HAS A WAY TO
MITIGATE THAT, CHANGING ITS
FLIGHT PATH, ALTITUDE AND POWER
SETTING LIKE THEY DO WITH THE
F-16s AND THE GUARD WILL LIMIT
OPERATION DURING THE SUMMER
MONTHS BECAUSE WINDOWS ARE OPEN
AND PEOPLE ARE OUTSIDE.
>> THERE ARE MINOR DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN THE TWO AIRPLANES,
PARTICULARLY IN TONE AND PITCH.
BASICALLY THE SOUND CAN BE
MITIGATED BY THE WAY YOU FLY THE
AIRPLANE AND WE INTEND TO
CONTINUALLY MOVE FORWARD IN A
RESPONSIBLE WAY TO MITIGATE THE
NOISE TO THE MAX EXTENT WE
POSSIBLY CAN.
WE'VE DONE FOR IT YEARS AND
WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO IT IN THE
FUTURE.
>> WE REALIZE THAT OPERATING
FIGHTER AIRCRAFT, THERE'S AN
IMPACT, BUT WHAT I'M TRYING TO
SAY IS WE'RE ALWAYS GOING TO DO
THE BEST JOB WE CAN TO MITIGATE
IT THE BEST WAY WE CAN WITHIN
OUR OPERATION AND WE STILL HAVE
TO FLY JETS TO BE READY FOR
MISSION.
>> EVERYTHING I'VE HEARD AND
TALKED TO WITH PEOPLE, THEY'RE
NOT GOING TO NOTICE A
DISCERNIBLE DIFFERENCE AT THE
TWEEN THE F-35 AND THE F-16.
>> Darren: AND WHAT ABOUT
SAFETY?
OPPONENTS ARGUE THE F-35 DOES
NOT HAVE ENOUGH FLIGHT HOURS,
THAT IT HASN'T BEEN TESTED
ENOUGH, AND POINT TO NUMEROUS
REPORTS ABOUT PROBLEMS AND COST
OVERRUNS WITH THE PLANES.
SOME REPORTS HAVE THE PRICE TAG
OF EACH PLANE AT AROUND
$90 MILLION, BUT THE AIR GUARD
SAYS WHEN FIGHTER JETS LAND IN
VERMONT, ALL TESTING AND
TRAINING WILL BE DONE,
RENOVATIONS ON TEN BUILDINGS
WILL BE COMPLETE AT THE BASE AND
THE AIR GUARD'S MORE THAN 1100
MEMBERS WILL BE READY.
>> I'M NOT GOING TO GET IN AN
AIRPLANE THAT'S NOT SAFE TO FLY.
I MEAN, WHAT WE'VE JUST SHOWN IS
THAT AIRPLANE HAS BEEN FLYING
FOR 12 YEARS AND 120,000 HOURS
AND IT HAS NEVER CRASHED.
IMPERSONALLY NOT AWARE OF ANY --
I AM PERSONALLY NOT AWARE OF ANY
AIR FORCE AIRPLANE THAT CAN MAKE
THAT CLAIM, THAT IT HAS LASTED
THAT LONG WITHOUT CRASHING, SO
I'M VERY CONFIDENT IN THE SAFETY
RECORD OF THE F-35 AND LOOK
FORWARD TO ITS ARRIVAL.
>> Darren: BUT OPPONENTS SAY THE
F-35 SHOWS TOO DANGEROUS IN
STUDIES.
THEY SAY THAT IT'S NOT RIGHT FOR
DENSELY POPULATED AREAS, AND
THEY WORRY IT HASN'T, AGAIN,
BEEN TESTED ENOUGH, PUTTING
CHANCES OF CRASHING MUCH HIGHER.
HERE IS MY SITDOWN INTERVIEW
WITH JIMMY LEAS, AN OUTSPOKEN
CRITIC OF THE F-35.
ARE F PA OPPONENTS TRYING TO
MISLEAD VOTERS WITH THIS BALLOT
QUESTION?
>> Jimmy: ABSOLUTELY NOT.
WE SUPPORT THE GUARD AND WE WANT
THEM TO HAVE A MISSION IN
VERMONT.
WE JUST DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE
A MISSION THAT HARMS 6,600
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE
NEIGHBORHOODS AROUND THE
AIRPORT.
AND THE BEST WAY TO HELP PROTECT
THOSE PEOPLE IS TO GET A MISSION
THAT DOESN'T HARM THEM.
IT'S THE MISSION OF THE AIR
GUARD, THEY PUT IT RIGHT ON THE
WEBSITE, THAT THEIR JOB, THEIR
MISSION IS TO PROTECT THE
CITIZENS OF VERMONT AND YOU
CAN'T PROTECT CITIZENS BY
HARMING THEM.
THIS PLANE, THE AIR FORCE, THE
BURLINGTON BOARD OF HEALTH, AND
THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
ALL SAY THAT NOISE AT THIS LEVEL
IS HARMFUL, ESPECIALLY FOR
CHILDREN AND FOR THE ELDERLY.
SO WHY DON'T WE TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF THE FACT THAT THE AIR FORCE
HAS ALTERNATE EQUIPMENT THAT
WON'T HARM ANYONE?
20 OR MORE -- YOU KNOW, EVERY
STATE HAS AN AIR GUARD, SO AT
LEAST 20 OF THEM HAVE EQUIPMENT
THAT WOULDN'T HARM ANYONE.
IT'S NO NOISIER THAN ORDINARY
COMMERCIAL JETS.
THIS WOULD BE FINE.
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A BASE IN A
CITY -- AND THERE ARE THREE
CITIES INVOLVED HERE AND SEVERAL
TOWNS.
THERE'S 125,000 PEOPLE LIVING
WITHIN FIVE OR SIX MILES OF THE
AIRPORT.
WHY NOT GET EQUIPMENT THAT'S
COMPATIBLE WITH THE LOCATION IN
A CITY?
>> Darren: THIS IS NONBINDING,
SO WHAT'S THE POINT OF TRYING TO
GET A YES VOTE ON THIS?
>> Jimmy: OH, IT'S GOING TO HAVE
ENORMOUS POLITICAL EFFECT, JUST
AS ALL TOWN MEETING VOTES HAVE
IN VERMONT.
I THINK THE AIR FORCE WILL BE
VERY RESPONSIVE TO A VOTE BY THE
PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON.
BURLINGTON OWNS THE AIRPORT.
IF THE PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON SAY
THEY WANT ALTERNATE EQUIPMENT
FOR THE AIR GUARD THAT DOESN'T
HARM CHILDREN, THAT DOESN'T HARM
THE ELDERLY, I THINK THE AIR
FORCE, THE UNITED STATES AIR
FORCE IS GOING TO BE VERY QUICK
TO RESPOND AND I THINK THE
POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN VERMONT
WILL BE QUICK TO RESPOND.
I DON'T THINK ANYONE REALLY
WANTS TO OPPOSE A CITIZEN BALLOT
ITEM IF WE VOTE FOR IT.
I THINK THERE'S GOING TO BE A
VERY LARGE VOTE IN FAVOR, A YES
VOTE.
IT SEEMS LIKE THE LEADERSHIP OF
THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD IS IN
DENIAL, BUT THAT'S WHY WE'RE
APPEALING TO THE MEN AND WOMEN
IN THE GUARD.
WE WANT THEM TO JOIN US IN
SPEAKING OUT AND IN VOTING FOR
ARTICLE 6 ON THE BURLINGTON
BALLOT TO GET EQUIPMENT THAT
EVERYONE AGREES IS GOING TO BE
SAFE FOR THE PEOPLE OF VERMONT.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT?
THE F-16 IS ITSELF TOO NOISY TO
BE IN A CITY LOCATION.
WE'VE ALREADY HAD 200 HOMES
DEMOLISHED BECAUSE OF F-16
NOISE.
THAT'S 200 HOMES TOO MANY.
WHAT LIMITS JOBS IN CHITTENDEN
COUNTY IS AFFORDABLE HOUSING,
AND YOU CAN'T PUT -- NOW WITH
THE F-35 -- 3,000 HOMES IN A
NOISE ZONE THAT'S GOING TO MAKE
THOSE HOMES VERY UNDESIRABLE.
NO MORE HOMES ARE GOING TO BE
DEMOLISHED.
THEY'RE ALL GOING TO BE IN AN
UNFAVORABLE AND UNWANTED NOISE
ZONE.
THIS ISN'T GOOD FOR JOBS, IT
ISN'T GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY, IT
ISN'T GOOD FOR CHILDREN, IT
ISN'T GOOD FOR ADULTS WHO HAVE
HEART PROBLEMS.
THE BEST THING WE CAN DO IS TO
VOTE TO CANCEL THE F-35, VOTE TO
REQUEST OTHER EQUIPMENT LIKE
OTHER STATE AIR GUARDS ALREADY
HAVE, THAT'S REALLY POSITIVE FOR
THE LOCATION IN A CITY
ENVIRONMENT.
>> Darren: HAVE YOU HEARD ONE OF
THESE YOURSELF IN PERSON?
>> Jimmy: NO, I HAVE NOT, BUT I
HAVE HEARD THE F-16 AND THAT IS
LOUD ENOUGH.
>> Darren: THE GUARD ARGUES
REQUESTING ANOTHER PLANE INSTEAD
OF THE F-35 IS NOT AN OPTION,
SAYING, QUOTE, IT'S SIMPLY NOT
HOW IT WORKS.
AND THE GUARD IS HOW GETTING
SUPPORT FROM BUSINESS LEADERS IN
VERMONT.
THE GREATER BURLINGTON
INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION JUST
RELEASED A NEW STUDY ON THE
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE VERMONT
NATIONAL GUARD AND THE PRESIDENT
OF THAT ORGANIZATION, FRANK
CIOFFI, JOINS ME NOW.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> Cioffi: GOOD MORNING, DARREN.
>> Darren: DID THEY DO THE
ECONOMIC STUDY IN RESPONSE TO
THE BALLOT QUESTION?
>> Cioffi: ACTUALLY, WE DIDN'T.
WE WANTED TO UPDATE OUR 2012
STUDY WE DID OF THE AIR GUARD
AND WHEN WE FIRST COMMENCED THE
PROJECT, WE WANTED TO LOOK AT
THE ARMY GUARD AS WELL.
AND THEN WHEN WE HEARD ABOUT
THIS BALLOT ITEM, WE ACCELERATED
OUR CONTRACT WITH ART WOLFE TO
GET IT DONE AS QUICKLY AS WE
DID.
SO YOU CAN SEE OUR POLITICAL
TIMING WAS NOT GOOD BECAUSE IT
JUST CAME OUT.
WE JUST RELEASED IT YESTERDAY.
SO --
>> Darren: WHAT'S THE BIG
TAKEAWAY?
>> Cioffi: THE BIG TAKEAWAY IS
THERE ARE, BETWEEN THE ARMY
GUARD AND THE AIR GUARD, THERE
ARE 3,600 JOBS THERE AT THE ARMY
AND AIR GUARD, AND THE PAYROLLS
BETWEEN BOTH OF THEM ARE
$148 MILLION A YEAR.
THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURES THAT
THE AIR GUARD WILL BE DOING IN
THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS
WILL BE $100 MILLION IN ADDITION
TO THAT ANNUAL PAYROLL, AND THE
ARMY GUARD HAS ASKED FOR CAPITAL
EXPENDITURES OF $230 MILLION AS
WELL.
WE LOOK AT THIS BASE -- WE DO
THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE
REGION AND UNFORTUNATELY IN
VERMONT, OUR FIRST JOB IS TO TRY
TO RETAIN THE EMPLOYERS THAT WE
HAVE, TO RETAIN THE JOBS THAT WE
HAVE, SO THIS IS ABOUT RETENTION
OF 1100 AIR GUARD JOBS.
THAT'S FIRST AND FOREMOST.
AND THE BENEFITS THAT ACCOMPANY
THEM, THE PAYROLL, THE CAPITAL
EXPENDITURES.
THE NEXT TAKEAWAY IS, IT
VERIFIED WHAT WE HAD COME UP
WITH IN 2013, THAT THE GUARD
PAYS FOR THE FIRE EMERGENCY AND
RESCUE SERVICES FOR THE AIRPORT
AND THE AIRPORT PAYS A DOLLAR A
YEAR FOR THAT.
THE ACTUAL COST OF IT IS ABOUT
$2.6 MILLION A YEAR.
SO IF THEY DID NOT PROVIDE THAT,
IF THEY WEREN'T THERE AND THEY
DIDN'T PROVIDE IT, THEN THE
AIRPORT WOULD HAVE TO COME UP
WITH $2.6 MILLION A YEAR IN
OPERATIONAL FUNDS AS PART OF
THEIR OPERATING BUDGET, AND THE
MONEY IS NOT THERE.
AND LASTLY, WE -- THIS JUST
VERIFIES THE FACT THAT THE F-35,
THE BASING OF THE F-35, WE
REALLY FEEL WOULD SECURE THE
PRESENCE OF THE GUARD HERE FOR
ANOTHER FOUR DECADES.
SO WE'VE HAD FIGHTER JETS HERE,
THE F-16 HAS BEEN FLYING HERE
FOR ALMOST A COUPLE DECADES,
ANYWAY, AND THAT PLANE HAS HAD A
40-YEAR LIFE SPAN.
SO WE EXPECT THE F-35 WILL HAVE
A SIMILAR LIFE SPAN.
>> Darren: YOU HEARD JIMMY LEAS,
AN OUTSPOKEN OPPONENT OF THE
F-35, SAYING THAT THIS IS GOING
TO BE BAD FOR THE ECONOMY, SO
CLEARLY, YOUR STUDY IS IN
DISAGREEMENT.
>> Cioffi: YEAH, WE NEED THIS,
WE NEED THESE JOBS.
THE AIRPORT NEEDS THE SERVICES,
AND THE ECONOMIC INDUCEMENT THAT
THIS INVESTMENT MAKES IN OUR
REGION AND THE STATE OF VERMONT
IS VERY, VERY SIGNIFICANT.
>> Darren: DID YOU EVER GET AN
INDICATION FROM THE AIR FORCE
THAT THE BASE WOULD BE GOING
AWAY IF NOT FOR THE F-35?
BECAUSE OPPONENTS HAVE BEEN
ARGUING FOR ABOUT A DECADE NOW
THAT THAT JUST SIMPLY WOULDN'T
HAPPEN.
>> Cioffi: THAT SHIP HAS SAILED.
THE GOVERNMENT WENT THROUGH A
PRETTY EXTENSIVE FIVE-PLUS-YEAR
PROCESS ANALYZING WHERE THEY
WERE GOING TO BASE THE F-35.
BURLINGTON WAS IN COMPETITION
WITH FIVE OTHER SITES.
HILL AIR FORCE BASE WAS CHOSEN
AS THE FULL-TIME AIR FORCE BASE
AND BURLINGTON VERMONT AIR GUARD
WAS CHOSEN AS A GUARD BASE.
THEY THEN WENT THROUGH THE
FEDERAL PERMITTING PROCESS AND
THAT PROCESS IS OVER.
THE OPPONENTS HAVE CHALLENGED
THIS EVERY STEP ALONG THE WAY,
THEY TRIED TO BRING IT INTO THE
VERMONT PERMIT PROCESS.
THEY TRIED IT ADMINISTRATIVELY
AND WERE DENIED.
THEY TRIED THIS IS STATE COURT
SYSTEM AND LOST THERE.
THEY TOOK IT TO THE VERMONT
SUPREME COURT AND THEY LOST
THERE UNANIMOUSLY.
THEY THEN CHALLENGED THE FEDERAL
PERMITTING AND JUDGE CRAWFORD
HEARD IN U.S. FEDERAL COURT IN
RUTLAND, HE DENIED THEIR APPEAL.
THINK APPEALED TO THE SECOND
CIRCUIT COURT IN NEW YORK.
THEY WERE DENIED THERE.
THEY ASKED THE SECOND CIRCUIT
COURT TO RECONSIDER THAT APPEAL
AND THEY WERE DENIED YET AGAIN.
SO THE LEGAL PROCESS IS
BASICALLY OVER.
THE AIR GUARD IS, AS YOU'VE
HEARD, IS INVESTING RIGHT NOW
$38 MILLION IN PREPARATION FOR
THE F-35 TO BE HERE.
GUARD PILOTS ARE TRAINING,
MAINTENANCE CREWS ARE TRAINING.
THE BASING IS IN PROCESS.
>> Darren: FRANK CIOFFI, THANK
YOU FOR YOUR TIME.
>>> STILL AHEAD, STOPPING A BIG
TAX HIKE.
A LOOK AT THE PLAN BY THE STATE.
AND NEXT, CANDIDATE PROFILES IN
THE RACE FOR BURLINGTON MAYOR.
>> Darren: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN
SIX YEARS, THE SPIRITED RACE FOR
BURLINGTON MAYOR.
INCUMBENT MIRO WEINBERGER IS
FACING TWO CANDIDATES WHO SAY
HE'S LOST TOUCH WITH AVERAGE
RESIDENTS.
ONE OF THOSE CANDIDATES IS
CARINA DRISCOLL.
SHE IS RUNNING AS AN
INDEPENDENT, BUT WAS ENDORSED BY
THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY.
SHE'S 43 AND WAS ONE OF THE
FOUNTAINERS OF THE VERMONT
WOODWORKING SCHOOL.
SHE'S A GRADUATE OF MONTANA
STATE AND MAY BE BEST KNOWN AS
THE STEPDAUGHTER OF SENATOR
BERNIE SANDERS.
SHE TALKED WITH IKEMAN DAVID
ABOUT HER CAMPAIGN.
>> Driscoll: I'M INVESTED IN THE
CITY AND I KNOW HOW TO BRING
PEOPLE TOGETHER AND I KNOW HOW
TO LEAD REAL CHANGE.
>> Reporter: A NATIVE OF
BURLINGTON, CARINA DRISCOLL IS A
BUSINESS OWNER WHO ALSO SERVED
ON THE SCHOOL BOARD, CITY
COUNCIL, AND SERVE IN THE STATE
LEGISLATURE.
IF ELECTED, SHE'D BE
BURLINGTON'S FIRST FEMALE MAYOR.
>> Driscoll: I ENTERED THE
CAMPAIGN BECAUSE I FELT STRONGLY
THAT WE WERE PUTTING PRIVATE
INTERESTS FIRST IN THE CITY AND
NOT THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE.
>> Reporter: SHE DID NOT ALWAYS
OPPOSE INCUMBENT DEMOCRAT MIRO
WEINBERGER.
SHE SPENT A YEAR ON HIS
TRANSITION TEAM WHEN HE WAS
FIRST ELECTED.
>> Driscoll: I STOPPED WORKING
FOR THE MAYOR BECAUSE IT WAS
CLEAR TO ME HIS PRIORITIES WERE
NOT THE SAME AS MINE.
>> Reporter: SHE SAYS HER
PRIORITIES INCLUDE DEVELOPING
MORE MIXED USE AFFORDABLE
HOUSING IN THE CITY.
SHE FEARS CURRENT RESIDENTS ARE
BEING FORGOTTEN WITH RECENT
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS THAT FOCUS
ON ACCOMMODATING NEW PEOPLE
MOVING HERE.
>> Driscoll: WE NEED TO BE
NEGOTIATING HARDER TO MAKE SURE
WE'RE ADDING UNITS PEOPLE CAN
AFFORD.
>> Reporter: SHE'S CAMPAIGNING
ON CREATING MORE COMMUNE
ENGAGEMENT WHILE MEETING THE
NEEDS OF SENIORS, YOUNG FAMILIES
AND THE NEW AMERICAN COMMUNITY
THAT CALLS BURLINGTON HOME.
>> Driscoll: MY PRIORITIES LIE
WITH MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE OF
ALL BACKGROUNDS AND CONSTITUENCY
GROUPS ARE ENGAGED IN ALL OF OUR
CONVERSATIONS TO BE THAT VIBRANT
CITY WE CLAIM TO BE.
>> Reporter: DRISCOLL POINTS TO
VALUABLE LESSON SHE LEARN FROM
HER MOTHER AND HER STEPDAD
BERNIE SANDERS.
>> Driscoll: ONE IS FOLLOWING
THEIR FOOTSTEPS AND ANOTHER IS
WALKING MY OWN PATH.
>> Reporter: IF HER PATH IS AS
THE NEW MAYOR OF BURLINGTON,
THAT'S FOR PEOPLE TO DECIDE ON
TOWN MEETING DAY ON TUESDAY.
>> Darren: BURLINGTON'S
INCUMBENT MAYOR IS ASKING QUEEN
CITY VOTERS FOR THREE MORE YEARS
IN OFFICE WHEN THEY GO TO THE
POLLS ON TUESDAY.
MIRO WEINBERGER AS DEMOCRAT, 48
YEARS OLD.
BEFORE BECOMING MAYOR, HE WAS A
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER.
HE HAS DEGREES FROM BOTH YALE
AND HARVARD.
HE'S SEEKING HIS THIRD
THREE-YEAR TERM IN OFFICE.
IKE TALKED WITH THE MAYOR ABOUT
HIS QUEST FOR RE-ELECTION.
>> OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS,
WE'VE COME SO FAR AS A CITY.
>> Reporter: MAYOR MIRO
WEINBERGER WAS FIRST ELECTED
MAYOR OF BURLINGTON IN 2012.
IF YOU ASK HIM, THE CITY IS IN A
MUCH BETTER MACE THAN IT WAS
WHEN HE FIRST TOOK OFFICE.
>> Weinberger: WE ARE IN A MUCH
BETTER PLACE TODAY.
>> Reporter: THE NATIVE
VERMONTER SAYS HE'S PROUD OF
GETTING THE CITY'S CREDIT RATING
BACK TO AN A, ALONG WITH
RESOLVING THE BURLINGTON TELECOM
SCANDAL AND MAKING PROGRESS ON
THE HOUSING SHORTAGE.
>> Weinberger: WE'VE PRESERVED
OR CREATED MORE THAN 300
PERMANENT AFFORDABLE HOMES FOR
LOW INCOME FAMILIES AND SENIORS.
WE HAVE MANY HUNDREDS MORE ON
TAP FOR THE FUTURE.
>> Reporter: WEINBERGER HOPES TO
CONTINUE OTHER PROJECTS HE
ALREADY STARTED, LIKE A VOTER
APPROVED PLAN TO IMPROVE
SIDEWALKS, STREETS AND WATER
LINES.
>> Weinberger: WE WILL CONTINUE
TO IMPLEMENT THAT ON MY WATCH
OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS.
>> Reporter: HE IS WANTS TO
FINISH OTHER PROJECTS HE
STARTING LIKE IMPROVING THE
CITY'S PARKS AND BIKE PATHS AND
BECOMING A NET-ZERO ENERGY CITY.
>> Weinberger: IN THE LAST THREE
YEARS, WE WERE THE FIRST CITY IN
THE COUNTRY TO SOURCE 100% OF
ITS ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLE
SOURCES.
WE'RE DOUBLING DOWN ON THAT AND
WE'LL CONTINUE TO BE A LEADER ON
THE ENVIRONMENT OVER THE NEXT
THREE YEARS.
>> Reporter: HIS CRITICS SAY HE
WAS FAVORED BIG DEVELOPMENT
PROJECTS, LIKE THE REDEVELOPMENT
OF THE TOWN CENTER MALL OVER THE
NEEDS OF THE AVERAGE CITIZENS.
THE MAYOR DEFENDS THOSE PROJECTS
AS CRITICAL TO THE CITY'S
ECONOMIC HEALTH.
>> Weinberger: REFLECTING ON
WHERE WE WERE VERSUS WHERE WE
ARE NOW, WE WERE ON THE CUSP OF
HAVING HUNDREDS OF OUR JOBS
LEAVING THE DOWNTOWN.
>> Reporter: WEINBERGER ASKS FOR
THREE MORE YEARS, BUT IT'S UP TO
THE PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON TO
DECIDE ON TUESDAY.
>> Darren: THERE'S A THIRD
CANDIDATE IN THE RACE.
WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO LINE UP AN
INTERVIEW WITH HIM FOR THESE
PROFILE PIECES, BUT AFTER
NUMEROUS EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS
TO HIM AND HIS CAMPAIGN, THEY
HAVE NOT MADE THE CANDIDATE
AVAILABLE FOR AN INTERVIEW.
AND TUNE IN TO CHANNEL 3 NEWS AT
6:00 TOMORROW NIGHT, EXPERT
ANALYSIS ON THE RACE.
THE NIGHT BEFORE VOTERS HEAD TO
THE POLLS.
>>> UP NEXT IN THIS BROADCAST, A
LOOK AT THE STATE'S PLAN TO DEAL
WITH A BIG TAX HIKE ON
VERMONTERS.
>> Darren: A PLAN TO SAVE
VERMONTERS $30 MILLION A YEAR BY
REFORMING THE STATE'S INCOME
TAX.
WITHOUT IT, VERMONTERS WOULD
FACE A BIG TAX HIKE BECAUSE OF
THE NEW FEDERAL TAX LAW.
POLITICAL REPORTER NEAL GOSWAMI
EXPLAINS WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU.
>> Neal: STATE OFFICIALS SAY THE
FEDERAL TAX BILL WILL MEAN ABOUT
HALF OF VERMONT TAXPAYERS WILL
PAY $42 MILLION MORE IN INCOME
TAXES.
THE OTHER HALF OF VERMONTERS
WOULD SEE A $12 MILLION SAVINGS.
>> IF WE DO NOTHING, THE NET
IMPACT AS $30 MILLION INCREASE
ON VERMONTERS.
>> Neal: THAT'S BECAUSE V STATE
INCOME TAX IS LINKED TO THE
FEDERAL SYSTEM.
THE SCOTT ADMINISTRATION WANTS
TO DECOUPLE IT.
TAX COMMISSIONER KAJ SAMSON SAYS
HIS TEAM HAS DISSECTED THE
FEDERAL LAW'S IMPACT ON VERMONT
SINCE IT WAS SIGN.
>> Samson: FIRST UP WAS
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE IMPACT IS
AND NEXT STEP IS WHAT ARE WE
GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.
>> Neal: UNDER THE PLAN, THE
STATE WOULD SWITCH FROM USING
TAXABLE INCOME TO ADJUSTED GROSS
INCOME.
THAT WOULD GROW THE TAX BASE,
BUT RATES IN ALL FIVE INCOME
BRACKETS WOULD DROP.
>> Samson: IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT
WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO
RESPOND IN VERMONT.
>> Neal: THAT RESPONSE INCLUDES
ADDING A $4,000 EXEMPTION FOR
EACH DEPENDENT AND STATE-LEVEL
DEDUCTIONS OF 6,000 FOR SINGLE
FILERS, 12,000 FOR COUPLES, AND
9,000 FOR HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS.
A NEW 5% TAX CREDIT FOR
CHARITABLE GIVING WOULD ALSO BE
CREATED, TO ENCOURAGE VERMONTERS
TO CONTINUE DONATING.
THE TOTAL PACKAGE IS AIMED AT
KEEPING TAXES LEVELED.
HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRWOMAN
JANET ANSELL SAYS THE PLAN
APPEARS TO BE IN LINE WITH WHAT
LAWMAKERS WANT TO DO.
>> AS A CONCEPT, I LIKE THE IDEA
OF MOVING FURTHER UP AND DOING
ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME, MAKING IT
SIMPLER.
>> Neal: SENATE FINANCE
COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN ANN
CUMMINGS AGREES.
SHE SAYS THE STATE PLAN APPEARS
TO KEEP VERMONTERS' TAXES FROM
RISING.
>> I THINK THAT'S A GOOD THING
AND WE'LL DO THAT.
>> Neal: REPORTING IN
MONTPELIER, NEAL GOSWAMI,
CHANNEL 3 NEWS.
>> Darren: AND TAX COMMISSIONER
KAJ SAMSON JOINS ME NOW.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> Samson: GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: WHAT SPECIFICALLY IN
THE FEDERAL TAX BILL PUT VERMONT
IN THIS SITUATION?
>> Samson: WE'RE ONE OF SEVEN OR
EIGHT STATES TIED TO FEDERAL
DEFINITIONS.
THE ONE THAT'S MOST RELEVANT ARE
THE STANDARD DEDUCTION AND
PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS.
THE PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS WENT TO
ZERO, SO THE MORE FOLKS IN YOUR
FAMILY, THE MORE YOU MAY SEE AN
INCREASE IN VERMONT TAX BECAUSE
THAT DEDUCTION HAS GONE TO ZERO.
>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE
SWITCH AND WHERE WE'RE IN THIS
PROCESS.
WE'RE GOING FROM WHAT TO WHAT?
EXPLAIN TO FOLKS WHAT IT MEANS.
>> Samson: WE TOOK THE
OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT OUR TAX
SYSTEM, WHICH IS PRETTY COMPLEX
FOR A SMALL STATE, AND SAYING
HOW CAN WE HOLE VERMONTERS
HARMLESS FROM THIS 30 MILLION
ACCIDENTAL TAX HIKE AND CAN WE
ALSO USE AN OPPORTUNITY TO
SIMPLIFY THE SYSTEM.
WHAT WE'VE DONE IS DEFINE IN
VERMONT LAW, OR ATTEMPT TO
DEFINE THE VALUE OF THESE
DEDUCTIONS AND BE MORE CLOSELY
TIED TO FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS
INCOME.
THE RESULT THAT IS WE CAN ALSO
LOWER RATES A LITTLE BIT, BUT
KEEP TAX LIABILITIES ABOUT THE
SAME.
>> Darren: AND WHERE ARE WE IN
THIS PROCESS?
IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN?
>> Samson: IT LOOKS LIKE THE
LEGISLATURE AND THE MAJORITY IN
THE HOUSE AT LEAST IS IN FAVOR
OF THE CONCEPT WE'VE PUT
FORWARD.
JUST THIS MORNING, THEY PASSED
OUT H-911 WHICH INCORPORATES
MOST OF THE CHANGES THAT WE
ASKED FOR AND VERY BROADLY, IT
LOOKS TO BE WHAT THE GOVERNOR'S
PLAN WAS ABOUT.
WE HAVE SOME THINGS WE'RE
ANALYZING THERE TO MAKE SURE
THAT THE ADMINISTRATION CAN GO
ALONG WITH THAT.
OF CONCERN IS THAT IT'S BEEN
PAIRED WITH EDUCATION FINANCE
REFORM AND NEW INCOME TAX TO
EDUCATION, SO THAT'S SOMETHING
THAT WE REALLY ARE GOING TO NEED
TO LOOK CLOSER AT AND WILL
PROBABLY BE WANTING TO SPLIT
THAT FROM THE INCOME TAX REFORM,
WHICH IS A HOLD HARMLESS PACKAGE
AND THE EDUCATION FINANCE REFORM
IS A WHOLE OTHER TOPIC THAT I
THINK NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH
SEPARATELY.
>> Darren: AND WHAT ARE THE
CHANCES OF THOSE BEING SEPARATED
AND GETTING SOMETHING OUT SO
THAT TAXES DON'T GO UP?
>> Samson: I'M HORRIBLE AT
POLITICAL PROGNOSTICATION.
I HAVE NO IDEA.
WE'RE GOING TO WORK HARD FOR IT.
I THINK EVERYONE IS IN AGREEMENT
THAT WE DON'T WANT AN ACCIDENTAL
TAX HIKE ON VERMONT FAMILIES,
AND IT IS FOCUSED ON FAMILIES,
SO I THINK IF WE CAN SUCCEED IF
GETTING TOES REFORMS PASSED,
THERE HAS TO BE MORE DISCUSSION
AND DEBATE ON THE EDUCATION
FINANCING PIECE.
>> Darren: YOU MENTIONED THAT
JUST A HANDFUL OF STATES
CURRENTLY HAVE VERMONT'S
PROCESS.
IS THAT BECAUSE OF FEDERAL TAX
LAW OR WHY SO FEW?
>> Samson: I THINK A LOT OF
STATES, BECAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL
THINGS HAPPENING, YOU KNOW, KIND
OF TRICKLING DOWN TO THE STATE
SYSTEM WHEN YOU'RE REALLY TIED
SO CLOSELY TO THE FEDERAL, A LOT
OF STATES OVER THE YEARS HAVE
MOVED TO DEFINING THEIR OWN
DEDUCTIONS AND EXEMPTIONS AND
BEING MORE CLOSELY TIED TO A
NUMBER HIGHER UP ON THE FEDERAL
1040.
THOSE STATES ARE NOT SWEATING IT
RIGHT NOW AS FAR AS THE IMPACT
FROM FEDERAL CHANGES.
VERMONT CAN JOIN 20 OR 30 OTHER
STATES THAT WE'LL BE IN A SYSTEM
THAT MORE CLOSELY DEFINES YOUR
OWN VALUES IN VERMONT LAW RATHER
THAN RELYING ON THE FEDERAL
SYSTEM.
>> Darren: COMMISSIONER, THANK
YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING ME.
AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING.
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT RIGHT
HERE ON CHANNEL 3.
HAVE A GOOD DAY.
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