Letter: Key Votes in Montpelier

To the Editor:

Based on how legislators have voted on important bills in Montpelier, it would appear that the majority of Vermont voters favor higher taxes and more state spending.

Here are scorecards on a couple of bills:

H.528, to expand the Vermont sales tax of 6 percent to bottled water, clothing (including shoes) over $110, candy, soft drinks and dietary supplements, and to increase the tax on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco by 50 cents (total: $3.12) and 88 cents (total: $3.12) respectively. Also, to increase the rooms and meals tax from 9 percent to 9.5 percent for 2014 and to apply the meals tax to food sold out of vending machines. Voting yes: Reps. John Bartholomew, D-Hartland, Sarah Buxton, D-Tunbridge, Margaret Cheney, D-Norwich, Alice Emmons, D-Springfield, Sandy Haas, Progressive/D-Rochester, Cynthia Martin, D-Springfield, James Masland, D-Thetford, Donna Sweaney, D-Windsor, Sheila Vowinkel, D-Hartford, Teo Zagar, D-Barnard.

House Bill 530, to increase state spending by 4.7 percent, which is nearly 21/2 times the rate of inflation. Voting yes: Bartholomew, Buxton, Cheney, Masland, Martin, Kevin Christie, D-Hartford, Alison Clark, D-Woodstock, Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, D-Bradford, Sweaney, Vowinkel and Zagar.

The Valley News could provide a tremendous service to its readers by printing a weekly summary of key bills in both New Hampshire and Vermont and a roll call of votes when the Legislatures are in session. Most citizens have no idea how their elected officials vote on important pocketbook issues. In these difficult economic times, taxes and spending bills need to be provided to the public.

Dan Hillard