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Vermont Town Wants to Secede to New Hampshire

Officials in the popular ski resort area of Killington (search) want the town to secede from Vermont and join neighboring New Hampshire in a dispute over taxes.

They say the town's restaurants, inns and other businesses send $10 million a year to the state capital in sales, room and meal taxes, but the state returns just $1 million in state aid to Killington.

Even more galling to the town is a statewide property tax imposed in 1997 to fund schools. The town of 1,092 won a Superior Court order that called the state's method of assessing local properties "arbitrary and capricious," but the state Supreme Court reversed that decision.

"It kind of reminds us of Colonial days," Town Manager David Lewis said Thursday. "The Colonies were being faced with the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, the Sugar Act. England wasn't giving them any rights. They were treating the Colonies as just a revenue source."

New Hampshire, just 25 miles east, has no income tax or sales tax.

Killington's Select Board wants to put the secession idea before voters on Town Meeting Day in March.

Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz said Killington has little chance of secession "absent an armed insurrection type of thing. ... A town is a construction of the state and exists at the pleasure of the Legislature."

New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said he would be flattered if Vermont wanted to join New Hampshire — but he's not making any promises.

In Killington, not everyone likes the idea.

"I love having a Vermont address. I'm proud of it. It's a cool place to live," said resident Steven Kelly.

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