Vermont Faces $98 Million Shortfall From Irene Damage
the state chooses to deal with this financial nightmare remains to be
seen, but one thing is certain - the effects will be felt for decades to
By Dell Hill
“The State of Vermont
has released new estimates on the cost of damages from Tropical Storm
Irene and how much of it will have to be paid for by Vermont taxpayers.
now believe the flood waters from Irene caused up to 572-million
dollars in damage to state and local roads, bridges and other
infrastructure. And if all federal funding comes through that the state
could qualify for, state and local governments would have to cover
about 98-million dollars of that cost.”
The State Capital In Montpelier, Vermont
When you add in the millions in damage to private property, the final toll will be well over $1 billion dollars.
but not many, private property owners carry flood insurance simply
because floods of this magnitude seldom take place. Snow melt each
Spring brings high water and some low-land flooding, but that’s minor
compared to the devastation wrought by Irene.
this tiny state will offset the 98 million dollar balance falls in the
lap of the state legislature, which convenes in January, and local
governments who are already clamoring for more “state aid” to deal with
the State government is trying to deal with a deficit spending problem
of its own, so it will be no small task for the totally Democrat
controlled legislature to address.
a state where one in six residents is a food stamp recipient, and the
state debt per citizen is pegged at $7,563, it will be extremely
difficult to ask the 633,621 residents to accept major increases in such
things as gasoline taxes, which clobber the poor and middle class. The
current state gas tax is already astronomical.
number of “tax the rich” proposals have surfaced, as expected, from the
Progressives, but Vermont isn’t exactly overrun by millionaires, so
it’s difficult to imagine that higher taxation rates on the well-to-do
is going to make much of a dent in that 98 million dollar shortfall.
has put Vermont at a major crossroads. How the state chooses to deal
with this financial nightmare remains to be seen, but one thing is
certain - the effects will be felt for decades to come.