Scott defends town budget revote: 'We're not going to tax our way out of this'

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont Governor Phil Scott Friday defended a proposal floated this week that allows for towns to revote budgets later this year.

It comes as the state grapples with a financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus. Vermont spends $1.8 billion a year on public education and since less revenue is coming in there is now a nearly $170-million hole in Vermont's Education Fund.

One way to fill that hole is with taxes. In Burlington, for example, city property owners face a potential 22-percent tax increase.

Vermont Finance Commissioner Adam Greshin had a brainstorming session with lawmakers Thursday and floated the idea of revoting school budgets already decided on Town Meeting Day. The governor says cutting costs must be part of the solution.

"We're not going to spend our way out of this, we're not going to tax our way out of this. We have to come up with other alternatives, and I don't know what they are, but we have to have the conversation, so this was a starting point," Scott said.

Céline McArthur spoke with Jeanne Collins, president of the Vermont Superintendents Association, about what she thinks of the revote idea.