Nanobrew wishes and maple syrup dreams

Ah, Vermont. Home of picturesque farms, covered bridges, general stores, and…

…private estates with their own tennis courts.

Vermont had the largest percentage of single-family home listings boasting a residential tennis court on the real-estate website Trulia.com as of May 30.

… The percentages in every state were small: In Vermont, 0.77% of single-family home listings mentioned a tennis court. In New Mexico, it was only 0.17%. And only 0.23% of the combined listings in the 50 states included a court.

So, Vermont, yay?

This is the Other Vermont, the one concealed at the end of long private driveways behind locked gates and groves of mature trees. The one that, according to Governor Shumlin, pays more than its share of our tax burden. It was only a little more than a year ago that Shumlin was hell-bent on cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor, while insisting that the wealthiest Vermonters were ’bout ready to flee the state if they had to pay a penny more in taxes.

You could take this surprising tennis-court factoid two ways: On the one hand, it’d be awfully hard to pack up a tennis court and take it with you. On the other, hey, if there are a lot of tennis court-laden properties on the market, perhaps the Great And Good Of Vermont are already on their way out the door. Hard to tell.

Anyway, as I reported during last spring’s tax kerfuffle, Vermont imposes a relatively high 8.95% tax rate on top earners — but because of the way we calculate taxable income, wealthy Vermonters actually pay only 5.2%. Which explains why they can afford to maintain all those expanses of carefully-manicured lawn.

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