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YCQM: April 6, 2014 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: April 6, 2014

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

AND GOOD MORNING. THE DEBATE OVER FUNDING EDUCATION IN VERMONT IS AN OLD ONE BUT THERE IS RENEWED FOCUS. MOST LAWMAKERS AGREE SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGED, FOR ACT 68 TO BE REVISED OR REPEALED. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THAT WITH JIM CONDON AND DAVE SHARPE. GENTLEMEN, THANKS FOR JOINING US.

>> GLAD TO BE HERE.

>> JOINING US IN THE CONVERSATION IS KYLE KYLE. YOU'VE BEEN COVERING THIS ISSUE NONSTOP.

>> CERTAINLY. WE'RE REACHING A KEY MILESTONE ON THURSDAY WHEN THE PROPERTY TAX RATE WENT TO THE HOUSE FLOOR. TALKING ABOUT WHAT IS THIS IN THAT BILL.

>> AND WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT IT.

>> WE STARTED OUT THE YEAR LOOKING AT ABOUT $47 MILLION INCREASE IN EDUCATION SPENDING HAVING SPENT $20 MILLION ONE TIME MONEY LAST YEAR. A LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER SUGGESTS 7% INCREASE FOR VERMONT RESIDENTS. WE PARE THAT DOWN AND USING $16 MILLION FOR ONE TIME MONEY. BUDGET CAME IN LOWER. WE'RE USING SOME SURPLUS MONEY WE HAD FROM LAST YEAR. WE GOT IT DOWN TO 4 CENT INCREASE. BASE PENNY RATE STARTS AT ABOUT 98 CENTS, IT WAS 94 CENTS LAST YEAR. THE NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TAX RATE AT ABOUT 51.5 ON WHICH IS 7.5 CENTS OVER THE LAST YEAR AND INCREASED THE BASE INCOME RATE THAT PAY EDUCATION TAXES BY INCOME FROM 1.89% AS A BASE TO 1.9%. THAT BASE IS INFLATED ACCORDING TO LOCAL SPENDING.

>> HOW MUCH MONEY WILL IT TRANSLATE TO?

>> SO THAT COVERS THE 40 PLUS MILLION DOLLARS IN INCREASE TO EDUCATION SPENDING.

>> WHY RAISE THE RATES FOR NON-RESIDENTIAL TAXPAYERS SO MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANTLY THAN RESIDENTIAL?

>> WE LOOKED AT A CHART. ALL THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT FOR VIEWERS TO KNOW WE DID A REMARKABLE NEW THING. IN ALL OF OUR TESTIMONY IN THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE IS POSTED ON THE WEBSITE. THAT IS LE -- IT'S THE CHIEF AND WAYS COMMITTEE AND LOOKED AT THE EDUCATION BILL. THE CHART COMPARES THE THREE TAX OF TAXPAYERS, AND IT COMPARES THEM TO WHERE THEY WERE IN 2009. FROM 2009 TO THE PRESENT THE SMALLEST INCREASE HAS BEEN ON THE NON-RESIDENTIAL TAXPAYERS SO THEIR SHARE OF PAYING FOR EDUCATION HAS INCREASED THE LEAST OVER THAT PERIOD OF TIME. THAT IS WHY THAT TAX INCREASED. SAME IS TRUE OF INCOME PAYERS, WE BROUGHT THEM UP. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE CHART, STILL NON-RESIDENTIAL IS THE LOWEST. INCOME PEOPLE ARE IN THE LOWER AND PENNY RATE HAS SEEN THE BIGGEST INCREASE SINCE 2009.

>> REPRESENTATIVE CONDON, WE ARE FACING MORE PROPERTY TABHZ. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO FOLKS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

>> WE HAD OUR TOWN MEETING, A MESSAGE TO MOUNT PELIER BUT WE ARE VERY WELL AWARE OF THEM. I SERVED WITH SENATOR SHARPE FOR EIGHT YEARS AND EVERY YEAR WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO MAKE HEADWAY ON PROPERTY TAX REFORM. EIGHT YEARS AGO WE HAD THE VICE CHAIRMAN, THE BUD OTTAMAN THAT LED A CHARGE TO REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES AND GO PRIMARILY TO AN INCOME TAX SYSTEM. MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE WHICH ALSO INCLUDED A CHAIRMAN AND RANKING MEMBER AT THAT TIME WAS CHAP SMITH. WE WERE BEHIND THE EFFORT. PROPERTY TAXES BE BASED ON ABILITY TO PAY AS OPPOSED TO AN ASSET LIKE A HOME. A COUPLE MAY HAVE PURCHASED WHEN THEY GOT MARRIED YEARS AGO. IT'S ESCALATED IN VALUE BUT THEIR PAYCHECKS AND THEIR INCOME HAS NOT ESCALATED IN VALUE. THIS IS WHERE WE FIND PROBLEMS AROUND THE STATE AND SOME UNFAIRNESS. A COUPLE LIKE THAT THEY MAY NOT QUALIFY FOR INCOME SENSITIVITY AND PROPERTY TAXES BECAUSE THE HOUSE THEY WANT TO STAY IN AND LIVE IN AND RATES THEIR FAMILY IN HAS ESCALATED IN VALUE. THE PROPERTY TAX BURDEN IS TOO MUCH FOR THEM. THAT IS NOT FAIR. NATIONALLY IT'S ABOUT 40% OF PROPERTY TAXES THAT GO TO PAY FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION. HERE IN VERMONT, WHEN YOU ADD IT UP, IT'S ABOUT 65% OF PROPERTY TAXES THAT FIGURES OUT HOW MUCH YOU OWE FOR HOMESTEAD STATED EDUCATION TAXES. ONE OF THE GOALS THAT HAVE PASSED THE LEGISLATURE AS PEOPLE ARE WATCHING US ON SUNDAY IS OUR INTENT FROM OUR COMMITTEE TO MOVE AHEAD WITH A GOAL THAT WAS INSPIRED BY BUD OTTAMAN AND INTRODUCED BY A FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FROM JAMAICA OLIVER OLSON AND I DPROOD IT TWO YEARS AGO WHICH CALLS FOR A FLAT PROPERTY TAX RATE. TO BE SUPPLEMENTED BY INCOME. THIS WOULD GET RID OF THE PROGRAM ALTOGETHER. THERE WOULD BE NO NEED FOR IT. IT WOULD BE GRADUATED INCOME TAX RIGHT OFF THE BAT. WE DON'T NEED THE INCOME SENSITIVITY. PROPERTY TAX CREDITS WOULD VANISH. NO MORE OF THOSE $6,000 OR $8,000 CREDITS FOR PEOPLE HAVING NO WAGES FOR WHATEVER REASON. WE THINK IT'S A FAIRER WAY TO GO. IT WILL TAKE SOME WORK. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT LOT OF NUMBERS AND WHO IS IT GOING TO AFFECT THE MOST. OUR INTENT IN THE PROPERTY TAX RATE IS TO FOLLOW THIS PATH AND JFO IS GOING TO BE HELP US MORE THAN EVER THANKS TO LAST YEAR. IT EXTENDS CONFIDENTIALITY, THEY ONLY HAD TWO FOR THE PURPOSES OF GIVING YOU THESE KINDS OF SCENARIOS. NOW IS THE TIME TO MOVE ON IT.

>> LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS WHEN VOTERS SEEMED TO BE SENDING A CLEAR MESSAGE. 254 TIMES VOTED ON SCHOOL BUDGETS AND 36 SHALL HIGHEST NUMBER REJECTED. COLCHESTER, YOUR DISTRICT AND RUTLAND, AS WELL. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE OUTCOME IS? THAT IS HUGE NUMBER?

>> PEOPLE ARE FRUSTRATED. THEY SAW THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS GOING DOWN, YET THEY SAW THE TAX RATES GOING UP.

>> FOR INSTANCE, THEIR BUDGETS WENT DOWN SAW A 2% INCREASE?

>> IT'S NATURAL FOR PEOPLE TO SAY WHY DID IT HAPPEN? THERE ARE NUMBER REASONS. PROPERTY VALUES REMAIN LOWER SO MORE MONEY, THE HIGHER RATE OF TAXES HAS TO BE GARNERED FROM THOSE SMALLER LISTS, HIGHER AMOUNT OF MONEY AFTER SPENDING $40-50 MILLION MORE ON PUBLIC EDUCATION THIS YEAR.

>> HOUSING IS BOUNCING BACK, ARE WE DUE TO BENEFIT FROM THIS. THE LAST THREE YEARS HOUSE VALUES ARE RISING AGAIN. COULD WE START TO SEE A BENEFIT IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS. IS THIS TREND CONTINUING UPWARD?

>> IT IS TRENDING UPWARD AND PROJECTIONS ARE IT IS GOING TO CONTINUE. IT'S NEGATIVE NUMBERS THIS YEAR BUT IN A YEAR WE'LL SEE A POSITIVE AND COUPLE YEARS AS THE ROLLING AVERAGE CATCHES UP, WE'LL SEE DECENT GROWTH.

>> THAT BEING SAID SPECIAL EDUCATION COSTS ARE RISING, HEALTHCARE COSTS ARE REGULATION. DOES IT MATTER HOW WE COLLECT THE MONEY, ARE WE SPENDING TOO MUCH. 25 OR 30 PROVISIONS IN THE BILL WE ARE GOING TO TAKE UP ON THURSDAY AND HOPEFULLY IT IS PASSED BY THE TIME YOU SEE THIS. MANY ARE DESIGNED AROUND SPENDING. IF WE MOVE TO THE INCOME TAX SYSTEM WHICH I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN AND MANY OF OUR FELLOW LEGISLATORS WOULD LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN, NEVERTHELESS WHETHER YOU TAKE IT OUT THE LEFT POCKET OR RIGHT POCKET, IT'S THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WE ARE RAISING THAT IS A CONCERN. THAT IS BEST ADDRESSED BY SPENDING. ONE OF THE PROVISIONS IN THE BILL GETS TO THE IDEA OF TRYING TO HELP VOTERS UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE VOTING FOR. RIGHT NOW THERE IS A TOTAL BUDGET AMOUNT. IT REALLY IS NOT RELATED TO WHAT THE TAXES ARE IN THAT COMMUNITY.

>> IT'S A COMPLICATED SYSTEM.

>> IT IS. THE TAXES ARE BASED ON EQUALIZED PEOPLE. NOT ONLY ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THE TOTAL BUDGET BUT THE AMOUNT FOR EQUALIZED PEOPLE AND WHAT PERCENTAGE THAT IS UP OR DOWN SO VOTERS HAVE A BETTER IDEA WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

>> SO YOU THINK THERE IS A DISCONNECT WHAT FROM WITH A PEOPLE ARE SEEING VOTING ON THEIR BUDGET AND TAXES ARE GOING UP? YOU DON'T THINK PEOPLE GET IT?

>> I THINK VERMONT VOTERS ARE PRETTY VAF SI. THEY KNOW WHEN TAXES ARE GOING UP AND COST MORE MONEY TO EDUCATE KIDS. WE KNOW THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IS DECLINING. BUT THE CLEARER WE CAN MAKE IT THE MORE RESPONSIBLE WE ARE AS LEGISLATORS. WE ARE ALSO PUTTING ONE OF THE PROVISIONS IN THE BILL IS TO CHANGE THE HIGH SPENDING THRESHOLD SO THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT SPEND AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF MONEY PAY EXTRA IN TAX DOLLARS. SO THE REST OF US DON'T HAVE TO SUPPORT THOSE HIGH SPENDING COMMUNITIES.

>> TWO REPUBLICANS, AS YOU KNOW, HAVE STARTED A PETITION TO REPEAL ACT 68. THAT IS THE EDUCATION FUNDING SYSTEM THAT WAS ESTABLISHED HERE. REPRESENTATIVE SHERMAN AND ANOTHER REPRESENTATIVE IS CALLING FOR THIS. LET'S HEAR FROM THEM.

>> IT LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER 5% INCREASE ON RESIDENTIAL RATE NEXT YEAR AND FOLLOWING YEAR AND ANOTHER 8 CENTS ON THE NON-RESIDENTIAL RATE. IT DOES TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER IT. WE ALLOW TWO YEARS FOR IMPLEMENTATION BUT UNLESS WE DO, I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. LEGISLATORS NEED TO SET A DEADLINE DATE.

>> TO BE CLEAR, THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY SAYING LET'S COMMIT RIGHT NOW TO TWO YEARS DOWN THE ROAD HAVING A NEW SYSTEM IN PLACE. DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT SYSTEM WILL LOOK LIKE YET BUT THE ACT 68 IS TOO COMPLICATED, NUMBERS OF YOUR OWN COMMITTEE -- YOUR MEMBERS DON'T UNDERSTAND IT AND SOMETHING COMES OUT OF LEFT FIELD AND I DON'T. IS THAT SOMETHING WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT?

>> WE HAVE A SYSTEM THAT WOULD CONFOUND ANYBODY. IT'S VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND I HAVE GREAT ADMIRATION FOR THE REPRESENTATIVES AND I UNDERSTAND THE FRUSTRATION THEY FEEL AND OTHERS, TOO. I THINK WHAT WE'VE DONE IN THE PROPERTY TAX BILL IS TO SAY HERE IS THE PATH WE'RE GOING TO TAKE. HERE IS A PLAN WE WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON AND DO WORK ON AND LET'S TRY THIS. HERE A PLAN. THAT IS LIKE SAYING, LET'S GET RID OF THE OLD SYSTEM AND FIGURE IT OUT LATER. HERE A PLAN AND WORK WITH IT AND SEE WHAT WE CAN DO TO MAKE THIS A BETTER SYSTEM. IT'S BETTER TO LIKE ONE IN THE CURSE OF DARKNESS.

>> THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CREATED SELF-MADE CRISIS THAT THE LEGISLATURE GETS UP AGAINST AND THEN TRIES TO DEAL WITH. THAT HAS NOT BEEN A SUCCESSFUL PATH FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL. I DON'T THINK WE OUGHT TO BE DOING IT AT THE STATE LEVEL TO CREATE A CRISIS IN FUNDING EDUCATION AND RUNNING UP AGAINST A WALL AT SOME DATE IN THE FUTURE.

>>> NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, WHAT ABOUT SOME OF THE OTHERS?

>> SETTING A FEDERAL DEBT LIMIT OR A BUDGET WHERE THEY HAVE A DATE CERTAIN WHICH IS WHAT THIS BILL DOES, THIS AMENDMENT THEY ARE PROPOSING SETS A DATE CERTAIN FOR EVERYTHING TO GO AWAY WITH NOTHING IN ITS PLACE. I DON'T WANT TO PUT OUR STATED AT RISK IN THAT WAY.

>> SO SIGNING THIS PETITION, THEY HAVE THOUSAND VETERANERS SO FAR?

>> FRANKLY IF A MAJORITY OF THE LEGISLATORS WANT TO DO THAT, OKAY. BUT WE HAVE A PLAN INSTEAD OF SAYING LET'S GET RID OF THE OLD THING, HERE A PLAN, LET'S GO WITH IT. LET'S SEE WHAT WE CAN DO. LET'S SEE IF IT IS GOING TO WORK. CAN THIS BE FAIRER? THAT IS MY POINT.

>> WE HAVE TO CREDIT REPRESENTATIVE CONDON FOR HIS PERSISTENCE IN FOLLOWING THIS PATH. IT'S NOT EASY TO ADDRESS HOW YOU ARE GOING TO FUND EDUCATION AND TO CHANGE FROM THE SYSTEM WE HAVE TO A SYSTEM BASED ON INCOME HAS LOTS OF BUMPS IN THE ROAD. THERE ARE WINNERS AND LOSERS AND DIFFICULT PROBLEMS TO OVERCOME. AND HE HAS WORKED DILIGENTLY TO ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES. I AM HOPEFUL WE CAN COME TO A POINT WHERE WE CAN IMPLEMENT ACT 164 AND HAVE A FIXED LOW RATE AND PROPERTY TAX WITH THE INCOME TAX WITH LOCAL SPENDING. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE REAL SIMPLE AND HOPEFULLY A LOT LESS COMPLICATED. IT'S SAID AROUND THE LEGISLATURE FOR EVERY PROBLEM THERE IS AN ANSWER THAT IS'S AND SIMPLE AND WRONG.

>> LET'S LOOK AT THE NUMBERS AND SEE IF MORE EQUITABLE FOR SYSTEMS.

>> WAS THE ACT NEARSIGHTED WHEN IT WAS ESTABLISHED?

>> THEY DIDN'T HAVE MUCH CHOICE. WE TRIED DIRECT GRANTS AND DIFFERENT ATTEMPTS. THERE WILL BE AN ACT 68 AND ALL IN ALL THE SYSTEM HAS GOTTEN MORE CONVOLUTED, FRANKLY. IS IT FAIR?

>> EVERYBODY WANTS EQUAL EDUCATION FOR KIDS.

>> QUALITY EDUCATION.

>> BUT IT'S EXPENSIVE. IT'S ONE OF THE HIGHEST PER PUPIL COSTS IN THE NATION AND COMES WITH EXPENSE.

>> LET'S TALKBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBOBO education funding

>>> WELCOME BACK. WE ARE TALKING EDUCATION FUNDING WITH STATE REPRESENTATIVES JIM CONDON AND DAVE SHARPE. WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE EQUITY OF FUNDING WHO GETS HIT HARDEST AS WE HAVE IT RIGHT NOW.

>> IT'S TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THAT VERY QUESTION AND THEY PRODUCED A CHART THAT SHOWS IT'S THE CLIFF AFTER HOUSEHOLD INCOMES OF $90,000, PEOPLE BELOW THAT, HOUSEHOLDS, OVER THAT WE START PAYING A PENNY RATE AND THOSE TAXPAYERS, HOUSEHOLDS TO 90 TO $150,000 THAT ARE JUST HAMMERED WITH PROPERTY TAXES. SO PART OF WHAT THIS BILL TRIES TO DO, IT DOES RAISE THE BASE INCOME RATED FROM 1.8 TO 1.9, 60% OF OUR TAXPAYERS PAY A LITTLE MORE AND WE SMOOTH IT OUT. IT LOOKS LIKE A CAMEL'S HUMP AND HELPS THE TAXPAYERS AND INCREASES THE NUMBER OF TAXPAYERS THAT PAY BY INCOME. IF WE WORK DILIGENTLY AT INCREASING THE NUMBER OF TAXPAYER THAT HAS PAY BY INCOME, WE MAKE IT EASIER TO MOVE TO ACT 164 WHERE WE HAVE ALL TAXPAYERS PAYING BY INCOME. THAT IS ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES.

>> WE CAN LOWER THE OVERALL BURDEN PER TAXPAYER.

>> AS REPRESENTATIVE SHARPE IS MENTIONED AS COLCHESTER RESIDENT TOLD ME MY WIFE DECIDED TO WORK A COUPLE HOURS OF OVERTIME AND THAT INCOME PUT THEM OVER THE $90,000 AND THEY GOT $500 TO $600 EXTRA OF PROPERTY TAX CREDITS. HOPEFULLY WE CAN GET A NEW SYSTEM, GET RID OF THE CLIFF OR SLOPE. GET RID OF THE INCOME SENSITIVITY AND HAVE A SENSIBLE INCOME SYSTEM AND HAVE A FLAT LOWER PROPERTY TAX RATE.

>> BOTH OF YOU KNOW THIS IS NOT THE FIRST SESSION THAT WE'VE BEEN HEARING THAT SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES AND EDUCATION FUNDING. WHAT MAKES YOU CONFIDENT SOMETHING WILL BE DONE THIS YEAR?

>> WHEN WE LOOK AT HISTORICALLY, THERE WERE A NUMBER OF LEGISLATORS THAT WANTED TO MOVE TO AN INCOME SYSTEM. THE WAY TO SEPARATE OUT TAXPAYERS AND FIGURE OUT THAT WAS GOING TO BE DONE WAS DAUNTING AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY THE METHODS THAT WERE BEING PROPOSED AND THE GOVERNOR SAID IF IT CAME TO HIS DESK, HE WOULD VETO IT. SINCE THEN WE HAVE SPECULATED IT INTO RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY AND NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY THAT REQUIRES HALF OF THE INCOME AND THAT CUTS THE PROBLEM DOWN TO SIZE. NUMBER TWO TAKES AWAY THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES REGARDING THE MOVEMENT TO INCOME. IT CREATES AND HELPS US GET TO A SMALLER PROBLEM AND HELPS US DEAL WITH THE SMALLER PROBLEM.

>> THERE HAVE BEEN CONCERNS IF WE REDUCE THE PROPERTY TAX TOO MUCH THAT WILL OPEN UP THE CAPACITY OF OTHER TOWNS TO RAISE THEIR PROPERTY TAXES. THAT MAY BE SOMETHING TO THAT. WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT IS REASONABLE BALANCE. 40% NATIONALLY IS THE AVERAGE PROPERTY TAX COMPONENT FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION. WE SHOULD TRY TO DRAW THAT DOWN. THE STATE TO ARTIFICIAL KEEP PROPERTY TAXES TOO HIGH TO KEEP LOCAL TOWNS WEEK WOULD LIKE TO BUILD A HOCKEY RINK OR SOMETHING, THAT IS NOT FAIR EITHER. AND WE HAVE TO TRUST THE TOWNS WILL HAVE TO DO WHAT IS NECESSARY AND NOT GO CRAZY ON PROPERTY TAXES EITHER.

>>> IN AN ELECTION YEAR, WOULD IT BENEFIT OR HINDER THE POSSIBILITY OF SOME KIND OF CHANGE?

>> WE DON'T HAVE A PLAN IN THE WORKS UNTIL NEXT YEAR. OUR INTENT IS TO WORK ON THIS HOPEFULLY OVER THE SUMMER AND COME BACK AND WORK ON IT AGAIN IN THE LEGISLATURE.

>> IS IT BECAUSE AN ELECTION YEAR IS THAT PUSH BEHIND THIS?

>> IT'S CERTAINLY PAR OF IT. BIGGER PART IS THE AMOUNT OF TAXPAYERS THAT ARE AFFECTED BY THEIR TAX BILL. THERE IS GREATER AND GREATER NUMBER OF CITIZENS SHALL SAYING TOO MUCH OF A BURDEN FOR ME TO PAY. AFFORDABILITY IS AN ISSUE AND WE NEED TO ADDRESS THOSE THINGS AT THE LEGISLATURE.

>> WE'VE TALKED ABOUT HOW WE RAISE THE MONEY. LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE DISCUSSION SURROUNDING ONE OF ELEMENTS THAT THE GOVERNOR MENTIONED, I'M CONCERNED. GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE HAS BEEN SAID AS ONE THE IDEAS TO SOLVE AND COULD SAVE MONEY. YOUR COMMITTEE WAS WORRIED ABOUT TOUTING THE POSSIBILITY OF SAVINGS. ARE THERE POTENTIAL SAVINGS IN CHANGING THE GOVERNING STRUCTURE AND WHAT OTHER CAPS COULD BE OUT THERE?

>> I BELIEVE THERE IS SAVINGS. I DON'T BELIEVE THEY WILL BE HAPPENING IN YEAR ONE BUT IN STANDARD SCHOOL DISTRICTS, WE GIVE SCHOOL BOARDS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHERE TO MOVE STAFF WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED. TO CUT STAFF WHERE APPROPRIATE TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS WE HAVE IN THE STATE AND TO HAVE A CITIES WITH A MORE EFFICIENT OPERATION. SO WOULD IT ACTUALLY ENHANCE LOCAL INVOLVEMENT IN SCHOOLS. ONE OF THE COMPLAINTS, LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS DON'T HAVE MUCH CONTROL AND THAT LOCAL CONTROL IS GOING AWAY. IT'S IMPORTANT WHEN WE MOVE TO THIS IDEA OF EXPANDED SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT WE REINFORCE AND IMPROVE THE ABILITY OF LOCAL COMMUNITY BOARDS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES IN THEIR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND ENHANCE THE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR KIDS. WE NEED TO MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION. I BELIEVE WE CAN SAVE MONEY OVER TIME.

>> IT'S NOT GOING TO BE AN EASY SELL. WE HAVE A TRADITION OF LOCAL CONTROL AND LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS WHO MAY NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY THEY ONCE DID. IT'S HARD TO CONVINCE THEM WHAT IS IN THEIR BEST INTERESTS. OBVIOUSLY IT'S ANOTHER THING. THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE DID A GREAT JOB REALLY TRYING TO FIND A PATH TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. WE NEED TO GIVE EIGHT SERIOUS LOOK.

>> WE HAVE FEW MINUTES LEFT. TELL US WHAT THE NEXT STEP AND WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE?

>> WE ARE TAKING SERIOUS TESTIMONY ON THIS BILL ABOUT EXPANDED SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT IS OUTLINED IN A BILL. IT'S BEEN PROMOTED BY PEOPLE OF VARIOUS POLITICAL SPECTRUMS AS BEING A MOVE FORWARD FOR THE STATE OF VERMONT. WE HAVEN'T ADDRESSED SCHOOL DISTRICTS SINCE THE LATE 1800s. IT'S TIME WE TAKE A LOOK AT THIS BILL. WHAT DOES IT DO FOR OUR KIDS AND WHAT DOES IT TERM IN COST. DOES IT PROVIDE TO REDUCE COSTS AND HIGHER EFFICIENCY.

>> REPRESENTATIVE CONDON?

>> IT'S GOING TO BE TOUGH FIGHT. THERE WILL BE LOT. IF IT DOESN'T FLY WE NEED TO LOOK AT OTHER POSSIBILITIES OF TRYING TO CONTROL COSTS IN THE SCHOOLS. WHETHER THAT MEANS GOING BACK TO A STATE GRANT SYSTEM OF SOME SORT. RIGHT NOW TOWNS CAN VOTE ANY WAY THEY WANT TO VOTE AND BUDGETING YOUR TOWN AFFECTS THE BUDGET IN KYLE AS TOWN. WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. WE ALL HAVE TO WORK ON THIS TOGETHER.

>> GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US. THANKS FOR WATCHING AT HOME EVERYBODY. WE'LL SEE YOU SOON.

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