Secession Fever

Live free...or in Vermont

Residents of Killington, a ski town in Vermont, were so mad about their high state taxes that in March they approved a plan to secede from the state and join neighboring New Hampshire. Now other towns want to flee Vermont as well, and they're asking Killington officials for ad-vice. Dorset, Ludlow, and Manchester have already held town meetings to learn about secession; other towns may follow.

David Lewis, town manager of Killington, says the state of Vermont is bleeding the resort towns dry to benefit less prosperous towns. Killington residents pay $10 million in property taxes but receive only $1 million from the state government. Dorset pays $7 million and gets back $3.6 million.

After a town passes a secession plan, the move must be approved by the legislatures and governors of both states and by the U.S. Congress. "The odds are not with us," Lewis admits. "But just because something is a long shot does not mean that you don't do it." Killington has drafted a bill for secession and will introduce it to the legislature soon.

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