At the 2004 and 2005 Town Meetings, the citizens of the ski resort community of Killington, Vermont voted in favor of pursuing secession from Vermont and admission into the state of New Hampshire, which lies 25 miles to the east.
An economic study commissioned by the town determined Killington would save a minimum of $7 million per year, excluding individual state income tax savings. Copies of this study were distributed at the 2004 Town Meeting and are available from the town clerk's office.
The town also claims to have suffered long term problems with restrained development under the state's Act 250 environmental law, which, in an attempt to control unrestrained growth and to balance the interests of developers and their neighbors, set up a system of environmental review boards, in which those affected by the planned development can challenge a proposed development plan. Supporters claim the expense of dealing with this has led Killington Ski Resort to have the highest lift ticket prices in the country. (Luckily, thanks to the fact that the ski area is close to New York City and Boston, the operators have thus far been able to get customers to pay those prices.) Supporters further claim that the state of Vermont has steadfastly refused to redress the grievances of the town and its people, and that their own state legislator, who represents Killington and Mendon, Vermont refuses to stand up for the town's interests.
On March 2, 2004 200–300 residents voted, by voice vote, for the secession proposal, passing it by a wide margin. On March 1, 2005, the measure was passed again, this time by ballot, with nearly 2/3 voting in favor.
New Hampshire lacks a general sales tax, but it does have a rooms and meals tax. The Granite State also has what amounts to a statewide property tax, not unlike Vermont's. Like all other states, both Vermont and New Hampshire levy high taxes on gasoline and tobacco. Like Vermont (but unlike some other states), New Hampshire does not guarantee that a given municipality will get any minimum percentage of tax revenues back as state aid. State aid in both states is allocated according to population and other factors not directly related to tax revenues.
The town is roughly equidistant from New York and New Hampshire, but the option of joining the Empire State after secession has not been openly considered.
Supporters have threatened a federal court battle, but the legal grounds for such a lawsuit remain unclear, since the US Constitution explicitly prohibits Killington's unilateral secession from Vermont.
In 2005, Vermont state Reps. Mark Young (R-Orwell) Richard Marron (R-Stowe) and Kathleen Keenan (D-St. Albans City) introduced House Bill 426 that would have required Killington to pay "exit fees" to reimburse the state for "stranded assets of the state, including those relating to education, transportation, and public service". The legislation would also have stripped Killington residents of all benefits of Vermont resident status, including instate tuition and tuition assistance. The bill was not acted upon by the House, and effectively died with the adjournment of the 2005-2006 Legislative session on June 1, 2006.
In 2005 the New Hampshire legislature passed HB 288 establishing the Killington Incroporation Commission, a 3-person body created to meet with a counterpart body in Vermont. The Commission established in New Hampshire met in November 2005 and notified the Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House in Vermont that they were assembled and ready to meet. In 2006 similar legislation was introduced in Vermont. The House Government Operations Committee did not even conduct a public hearing on the bill. In New Hampshire, every bill must receive a public hearing. In Vermont, the Committee Chair can keep a bill in the desk until the session ends, killing the bill without a vote by the body.