Killington, Vermont, Or Killington, New Hampshire—Or Both?

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Ticked off by what they think are Vermont's punishingly high property taxes, they've decided to seek relief in New Hampshire—by bringing New Hampshire to Killington.

In their annual town meeting last March, residents voted overwhelmingly to make Killington a satellite town of their famously levy-lenient neighbor. The reason? What town manager Dave Lewis calls "a tax structure unfairly placed on resort towns like Killington. (Act 60, the state's controversial property-tax law, assesses towns with higher real estate values—e.g., Killington—at a proportionally higher rate.) Reinvented as a New Hampshire town, says Lewis, Killington could save more than $10 million a year in taxes—mostly in state property taxes.

The new state affiliation would have the added effect of turning Killington, the ski resort, into a kind of novelty—what Killington president Allen Wilson calls "the only ski area in the East in two states. While base facilities are within the town of Killington, most of the trails and lifts are on Vermont state-forest land, which would not be part of any secession.

But don't expect a two-state ski area anytime soon. Approval for the state change must come from both the Vermont and New Hampshire legislatures, and Vermont will almost certainly give the thumbs-down to Killington's escape plan. Even Lewis says he's "under no illusion that the change is going to happen. Like the Boston Tea Party, the main thrust of the secession effort is symbolic. "Somebody might take note, says Lewis, "that we're not going to bend over and take it.

OCT 2004