10% tax worrisome

To the Editor:

The "$ingle Payer - Seriously?" editorial in last week's paper was timely and necessary. It is sad that the governor and his administration pretend to ignore the looming costs of the single payer health system. They seem to think that the money to pay for it will miraculously appear. Sen Galbraith's proposed law (S. 252) hopefully will provoke some serious discussion before we get into a "commit now, pay later" situation.

There is one serious "sin of omission" in the editorial - S. 252 includes way more than the employer taxes and payroll taxes about which you expressed concern. It also includes a 10 percent tax on non-wage income. This is a huge amount of Vermont's income received. What is being proposed is a 10 percent tax on Social Security, pensions, interest, dividends, unemployment benefits royalties, rents, etc. These are all considered to be income on both the current state and federal tax forms. The bill as written proposes this as a new 10 percent added to the tax now collected, it is not a 10 percent surcharge. There is a very large difference.

Considering the number of retired persons in the Vermont population whose incomes are mostly pensions, etc., plus the number of persons whose incomes are derived from "non-wage" sources such as investment returns, etc., this new 10 percent hit will cause considerable harm to many people, and consternation to many others. If this is adopted, you can depend on a great many pensioners joining the exodus, plus when the word gets around, which it will, fewer people will retire here. Not to mention the number of non-salaried but high income people who will look to another more tax friendly state. After all, there are beautiful mountains, golf courses and restaurants with edible food commonly found in the world beyond our borders.

Perhaps the administration and the single party legislature might consider the ancient concept that living within ones means is a good thing, living in an economic fantasy land is an endless losing proposition.

Weiland Ross Sunderland


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