I read a great editorial in the Rutland Herald on Tuesday, Dec. 4. It is titled “Corporate Welfare.” It talks about how, according to the New York Times, Vermont ranks sixth in per-capita spending for tax breaks for businesses. It does state that the businesses receiving these tax breaks must show that they will actually create jobs.
It also names some specific companies receiving these tax breaks, such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters does, however, have to compete on the open market for desirability of their product, and the price at which they sell this product. It is also one of Vermont’s top leading employers.
The curious thing about this editorial is what is missing from it. No mention is made of the gluttonous bottom-feeders of corporate welfare – industrial wind developers. These industrial wind developers (most of them foreign-based) get numerous federal and state tax breaks. They are even allowed to charge two to three times the market price for the product they produce. They are also causing great destruction to Vermont ridgelines, delicate ecological areas of Vermont, getting permits to kill some animals on the endangered species list, and putting some Vermont citizens health at risk.
They do create some temporary jobs in the initial construction phase of these huge wind turbines. Most of them, however, require specifically trained out-of-state workers. The general operation of these turbines take only a few technicians to maintain them – and also a security force to keep people away from them, mostly so people won’t see the destruction they have caused. All of this is written by our state’s governor and is condoned by our state Legislature.
The editor states that the tax burden has been shifted away from the companies and toward the ordinary taxpayers. I will add, in the case of industrial wind developers, cost has also been shifted to the electricity ratepayers. The editorial states that in time this may change. I say, now this must change. Maybe this is what is missing.