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The "Sugarbush Thread"

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862
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18
If it is not his permanent residence and he has to pay taxes on the property, then isn't it more of a use tax? Regardless, a use/proerty tax is kind of a two way agreement. If so, if the munincipality restricts him for using what he owns haven't they already violated that tax agreement then by prohibiting him from using it? I guess one could argue he could rent it out (assuming there are renters looking/could use as well) and then he is still using his property. Still, I see a lot of legal questions this could raise up if these measures continue. When it first hit and we didn't really have a handle on how it spreads etc, that was one thing. Public health emergency, sucked but I think most of us got that. Now? How long does this go on? Too much longer it will get like the Boston Tea Party days, taxation without representation (in this case, that being allowed to even use one's property).

And before you say no way, look at NH taking MA to the Supreme Court to challenge MA income taxes being withheld from now fully remote workers living and working out of NH. These measures will surely draw legal challenges on property taxes of owners being barred from use should this carry on much longer as well.

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With the high rates second homeowners pay it has always been taxation without representation.
 

djd66

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Nothing like some good old fashion Covid-19 talk to bring the Sugarbush Thread back to life!
 

HowieT2

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You also have the advantage of having your own place that you can really stock up on goods and have a base to do all your things without the threat of contamination of your accommodations from other people. This adds another good layer to the equation. People like us that own our places and pay taxes really get shit end of the stick. My family also lives in a town that has been green or even white with no cases for most of the summer. But we get lumped into a county that is red because of cities like Lynn and Lawrence that have a ton of nursing homes and other facilities that drove their numbers up. If I get restricted from coming up I am going to stop paying my taxes to the town of Warren.


But its not the town of warren imposing restrictions, its the state.
Also, your county is in no way unique in having covid numbers skewed by outbreaks in a small segment of the population. In fact new york state recently announced restrictions on a micro neighborhood level for this very reason. perhaps VT would do well to adopt a more focused quarantine criteria rather than at a county level, although I'm not sure that such refined data is readily available.

but hey, on the bright side, we have something fresh and new to discuss as opposed to the annual snowmaking debate. So we got that going for us.
 

HowieT2

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I'm a lawyer and I often have to admonish my clients that its easy to bring a case but winning is a different story.
 

Hawk

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Yep. Could turn into a hassle.

FWIW...I'm not trying to stir anything up. Just genuinely curious. You're not willing to break the quarantine rules to make a point, but your willing to break the law (not paying taxes) to make a point?

Not paying taxes is not that big a deal. There are thousands of people that do it each year. They hire a company that bargains with the municipality and pay only a small percentage. For the record I do not plan to do that.
Short Answer is.... I'm not making any point by considering to hold the line on the governors conservative guidelines but you won't infect and possibly kill people by not paying your taxes.
For the first time, ever, I can truly understand where the conservative right wing people are coming from. Not until just now. The government over taxes us and then restricts us from doing the things we love. My god, the next thing you know I'm gong to change my vote to Trump. LOL
 

Blurski

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Speaking of snowmaking, anyone take a look at the snowmaking pond, is it full now that we have had some rain over the past several weeks.
Figuring if it is not full the mountain will be able to pull the we are not making snow due to the drought and low pond levels.

Also, did they ever publish the youtube link for community day that had audio, seems like the website is void of any mention of it.
 
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Mar 7, 2013
Messages
165
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Location
Warren, VT
My policy for quarantining has evolved over the course of the last six months. For March - end of May, I didn't go to VT at all. From June to end of August I would go up w/ groceries and not interact with anyone local up close, at all. From Sep - now I will go into the grocery store (wearing a mask) but that's it -- no restaurants, etc. Last weekend I went backpacking in the Breadloaf Wilderness and saw a total of two people. I have very low risk of exposure in my day to day life, *and* I already had Covid-19 in March, and I always wear a mask in public settings, so I do not feel like I am putting people at risk. Also, everyone in the valley now seems to be pretty chill. If I feel like i can go skiing without interacting closely with the locals, I probably will, regardless of what the state policy is. I think their precise methods for determining who can travel are ill-advised. But I also have a backcountry setup and snowshoes, so I'm prepared to not do lift-served skiing this season if need be.
 

ducky

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Nov 18, 2017
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Waitsfield, VT
With the high rates second homeowners pay it has always been taxation without representation.

Actually, for about 15 years now, in both Warren and Waitsfield, non-resident rates are lower than resident. There is not much difference in the rates but they are lower. This is a second-homeowner myth and often incorrectly stated when arguing about the "unfairness" of taxes. Being as there's really only road crews in the town budget, and this is heavily weighted on winter months, residents and non-residents see similar usage. Education benefits all in higher property values. (ever wonder why Roxbury is so much less to buy into than Warren?)

Warren 2020 Tax rates:
Residential; municipal 0.41 + educational 1.6814 = 2.0914
Non-Resident; municipal 0.41 + educational 1.6761 = 2.0861

Waitsfield:
Total FY20 residential property tax rate = $2.0891 per $100 of assessed value.
Total FY20 non-residential property tax rate = $2.0560 per $100 of assessed value.

Re Hawk and not paying the taxes: As it's been said, nothing stopping you from quarantining and using your second home or renting it. I think you'll find it is like Howie said; tough to win. My guess is you're coming anyway.

My 82yo mom stopped paying her 2020 taxes in Florida in protest and it cost me $800 to get the property out of a tax lien sale, or about 20% of her total bill.
 

ss20

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Speaking of snowmaking, anyone take a look at the snowmaking pond, is it full now that we have had some rain over the past several weeks.
Figuring if it is not full the mountain will be able to pull the we are not making snow due to the drought and low pond levels.

Even with the rain most streams and rivers are below average still. Got another soaker coming up Sunday night to Monday.

I wouldn't worry about SB not blowing snow early. Places are gonna want to open as much terrain as they can to keep their capacity up.
 

djd66

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Warren 2020 Tax rates:
Residential; municipal 0.41 + educational 1.6814 = 2.0914
Non-Resident; municipal 0.41 + educational 1.6761 = 2.0861

Waitsfield:
Total FY20 residential property tax rate = $2.0891 per $100 of assessed value.
Total FY20 non-residential property tax rate = $2.0560 per $100 of assessed value.

The question is, Why is there a different rate for residential VS non-residential? Seems strange to me and I'm surprised that this has not been questioned in the courts. In the past the rate for non-residential was higher than residential and I think that was what pissed people off so much. In Massachusetts it does not matter where you live full time, everyone pays the same rate.
 

skiur

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Even with the rain most streams and rivers are below average still. Got another soaker coming up Sunday night to Monday.

I wouldn't worry about SB not blowing snow early. Places are gonna want to open as much terrain as they can to keep their capacity up.

The downside is they will probably be painting them pretty thin then get on to the next one to keep capacity up.
 

ducky

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The question is, Why is there a different rate for residential VS non-residential? Seems strange to me and I'm surprised that this has not been questioned in the courts. In the past the rate for non-residential was higher than residential and I think that was what pissed people off so much. In Massachusetts it does not matter where you live full time, everyone pays the same rate.

There are homestead rules in Vermont (like Florida) and taxes are abated on a sliding income scale up to $138,250/pa based on federal and state returns filed each year. See Vermont Forms HS-122/HI-144. https://tax.vermont.gov/property-owners/homestead-declaration
 

Hawk

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Ducky, are you a tax accountant? LOL I knew it was not that much of a difference. I think they changed it recently though? It is certainly really high compared to my taxes in MA.
I actually have not made my decision on what I am going to do this winter. We are leaning to actually come up for a month or 6 weeks starting just before Christmas. 7day Quarantine - test and then go and work from up there and ski a bunch. Living on the mountain gives us an advantage of not having to mingle with the masses at all except for lift line and I expect that people are freeked out enough that there are not going to be any lines anyway.
 

Hawk

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The downside is they will probably be painting them pretty thin then get on to the next one to keep capacity up.

I highly doubt that. John Hammond has the same mindset as Winn. They set up the guns on one trail at a time and bury it so they don't have to come back for a long while. It saves them labor. They do not have enough guns and hoses to set up on multiple trials so they have to breakdown and move everything.
 

jimmywilson69

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It really seems silly that Sugarbush has such a small arsenal of snowmaking equipment. Winters aren't getting colder. They should be able to be setup on 2 trails at a time... even if they are only blowing one at a time. then while they are blowing they can be moving the setup in a leapfrog fashion. That doesn't seem like such a huge expense to have 2 sets of ground guns and hoses. My little hill in PA probably has more ground equipment that SB, in addition to all of the tower and permanent fan guns. They also have to make 100% of their snow most winters.

I know everyone likes SB because they let it somewhat a la natural, but it seems kind archaic.
 

mister moose

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The question is, Why is there a different rate for residential VS non-residential? Seems strange to me and I'm surprised that this has not been questioned in the courts. In the past the rate for non-residential was higher than residential and I think that was what pissed people off so much. In Massachusetts it does not matter where you live full time, everyone pays the same rate.
So non residents pay higher taxes and have zero kids in the local school system and cannot vote locally. No money grab there.
 

VTKilarney

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So non residents pay higher taxes and have zero kids in the local school system and cannot vote locally. No money grab there.

In some towns non-residents pay lower taxes. Locals are punished if they increase taxes at too high a rate. If I lived in one of those towns I would be very tempted to NOT file the homestead declaration.

That said, I have never understood why you have to be a resident in order to vote on the town budget. If you own property and pay taxes, you should be able to vote.
 

slatham

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I highly doubt that. John Hammond has the same mindset as Winn. They set up the guns on one trail at a time and bury it so they don't have to come back for a long while. It saves them labor. They do not have enough guns and hoses to set up on multiple trials so they have to breakdown and move everything.

Agree. But is this year different due to 1) need for more trails and lifts pods as quick as possible and 2) less skier traffic on those trails? I'm wondering if laying down 25-35% less and moving on that much faster might be a good trade off?
 

Hawk

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I guess we will see. With John on his own without Winn, things might change. He did say on Community day that they will start snowmaking on time on Nov 1 and open three weeks later with the same plan as last year. Spring fling and Gate house as the priority.
 
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