Our Opinion: Many happy returns? Not in Vermont


Have you completed your tax return yet? Considering that today is the deadline to send in your return, and perhaps a check made out to the IRS, now might be a good time to start.

As for the prospect of a fat refund check that pays for new snow tires or your next fishing pole, there's more working against you than the financial valentine that Congressional Republicans gave the 1 percent at the expense of the middle class. Vermonters, on average, receive smaller tax refunds than any other state in the union.

According to IRS stats collected by security company SafeHome.org, in fiscal 2017 the average Vermont tax refund totaled $2,393.53. Only Maine averaged a smaller federal refund than Vermont.

That's a good deal less than Texas, where everything's bigger — including the refund checks. Residents of the Lone Star State averaged a U.S.-best refund of $3,205.67 in 2017, according to the study

When you pair those results with another study released by WalletHub, showing that Vermont was 43rd overall in taxpayer return on investment, you might not feel as charitable about writing the IRS a check today.

But keep this in mind: Federal dollars are a significant part of what keeps our little state running. According to the Joint Fiscal Office in Montpelier, the fiscal $6.08 billion 2020 budget proposed by the state House includes $2 billion in federal funding.

So maybe, just maybe, a fraction of a penny of your contribution might help the Green Mountain State in some small but meaningful way.

If only we could earmark checks to the IRS for how we wanted our tax dollars to be spent. We're guessing not too many folks would mark the memo line "tax cut for Koch Industries."

In fact, many people apparently had no idea that's what they were doing when they voted for the current president.



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