A local tax on Wall Street

Letter to the Editor:

At a casual town meeting in Putney in April 2010 Sen. Bernie Sanders expressed his support for a local Wall Street tax, advising that it might meet more opposition in the state capital than in Washington. A small group of Brattleboro residents started work on the tax, their plan being to levy the tax locally. This is not a petition for Washington or Montpelier to enact a tax. By their plan, Brattleboro residents and businesses investing in securities would pay a small tax to the town. Three types of securities tax and a capital gains tax are being proposed to the Representative Town Meeting for consideration under procedures of Vermont statute 2645 for amendments of town charter. Mr. Sanders confirmed his support for pilot legislation by connecting the group to his financial analyst, Doug Hoffer, who is now state auditor. On the basis of Mr. Hoffer's preliminary study, other specific Wall Street studies were funded and then comprehensive data were compiled by Dr. Joseph Kirchner.

We appreciate Mr. Sanders' advocacy on the issue of Wall Street and a fair economy and admire his foresight in supporting this pilot legislation. This fair tax will raise much-needed tax revenue for Brattleboro and become model legislation for other municipalities. The tax model applied nationwide will generate the billions of dollars needed to fund Mr. Sanders' important policy proposals. For more information, call me at 802-257-4995.

Kurt Daims, Brattleboro, May 28