In the Observer’s June 30 edition, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter proposed a new government program to provide tuition-free attendance for eligible students at Community College of Vermont and Vermont Technical College.
This would cost $6 million the first year and $12 million each subsequent year. It would be funded by yet more taxes — this time a franchise tax and increased income tax on banks. She says this is needed because young people have limited options for work. Minter’s proposal is flawed in its assumptions and damaging in effect.
Young people can’t find jobs because after eight years of the Shumlin administration, in which Minter played a major role, thousands of jobs have left Vermont while individuals and businesses have been buried under millions of dollars in new taxes.
Piling on more taxes is like giving poison to the patient. This proposal would limit the ability of financial institutions to serve the public, and further burden Vermonters when tax increases are passed on to consumers.
There are huge federal government low-interest loans and income-based funding sources already in place. More programs, taxes and bureaucracy are unnecessary and burdensome.
Many parents and students already are strapped paying for post-secondary education. It is wrong to make them shoulder additional cost. A preferable solution includes preparing students to have marketable skills, providing for diversified educational opportunities in elementary and secondary schools, lowering tax burdens and improving economic opportunity.
Bret Powell, Williston