A Way to Cut Taxes

On June 5, a local group announced it has permanently protected from development 46 acres of open space in Hadley, Massachusetts, near Northampton. Saving open space lowers taxes and creates jobs, according to studies by the Vermont Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land.

Towns with the most protected land have the lowest property taxes. That's according to:

www.vlt.org/images/0_PDFs/Conservation_and_Property_Taxes.pdf

In Massachusetts in 2013, outdoor recreation created about 90,000 jobs for workers at hotels, restaurants and other businesses, according to:

http://www.massland.org/category/conserving-land-your-community/economic...

In New Hampshire, “the forestry, agriculture, and commercial fishing industries depend on maintaining forests, farms, and water quality. Forestry, agriculture, commercial fishing, and related processing activity generate $2.5 billion in output and support 18,500 jobs,” as of last year, according to:

https://www.tpl.org/sites/default/files/nh-state-roi-report.pdf

Property values are higher in Vermont towns that are near the hiking and camping opportunities in the 400,000 acre Green Mountain National Forest, according to a 2004 study:

http://wilderness.org/sites/default/files/The-Economic-Benefits-of-Wilde...

The Hadley land was saved by www.KestrelTrust.org and other groups. The land is near Bay Road and Chumura Road. It includes a forest and a meadow. It is open to the public.

Most money for land protection comes from the government. The Vermont state government spends about $7 million a year on land protection out of an approximately $5 billion state budget.

Another way to cut taxes is to reduce military spending, which accounts for 45 percent of the federal government's spending. Raising taxes on billionaires would lower taxes for roughly 99 percent of Americans.

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