Community response to "Robin Hood" tax legislation
Miller, Kristen Leah
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This thesis is a study of community reaction to property tax reform in Stowe, Vermont. Literature on distributive justice and economic theory are emphasized as they were the basis for Vermont’s recent attempts at education finance reform and equalizing educational opportunities for all publicly educated students. Act 60 and the Brigham decision are analyzed to understand how concepts of egalitarianism and distributive justice played out in the creation of education finance reform. A case study approach utilizing interviews and archival analysis is then used to show how these conceptions played out at the local level. Perspectives of property owners within Stowe are considered. Although most property owners opposed Act 60, the reasons why individuals were opposed differed based upon their position within the local community. Two dominant themes expressed include the loss of local control over property taxes and the unfair redistribution of funding education disadvantaging the town of Stowe.