Refreshing and unguarded speech on taxes


To the Editor:

Unguarded speech is so rare now, it is refreshing to encounter it, free of any hedging or evasion. Take Nis Kildegaard’s column “Traffic and Tuition” [ Soundings, September 1] about why Vineyarders should be grateful for the summer people, because they pay so much of the Vineyard tax bill — 75 percent or more is his figure.

Mr. Kildegaard notes that summer people contribute millions of dollars to town coffers, but not one student to Island schools, and few services. How true.

He continues, “for every thousand dollars we agree to tax ourselves … we get three or four thousand dollars from seasonal property owners.” And, finally, the kicker, that it’s like a four-to-one matching grant on public radio, but in this case “the donor has no choice to pony up.”

The taxes from seasonal taxpayers “is a gift that never stops giving.” Indeed it is, and congratulations to you all.

Except, if its compulsory, it’s not a gift.

Christopher Gray

New York City and Vineyard Haven