June 16, 2007
Janet E. Milne (Vermont)
- B.A. 1973, Williams
- J.D. 1981, Georgetown
Janet Milne specializes in environmental tax policy at Vermont Law School, where she also teaches land use regulation and regulatory takings. Her interest in law and taxation started shortly after she graduated from Williams College when went to work for Maine Coast Heritage Trust, one of the first land conservation organizations to promote the use of conservation easements. “I never entertained the idea of law school when I graduated, but working on land conservation projects with landowners and their attorneys shed a new and very interesting light on the role of attorneys—and the role of tax incentives.”
After five years in Maine, she went to Georgetown University Law Center, in part because of its tax offerings, and she served on the editorial board of the Georgetown Law Journal. At Georgetown, “I had the privilege of taking a superb tax policy seminar co-taught by Prof. Stephen Cohen and The Brookings Institution’s Joseph Pechman, which left an indelible mark and reinforced my interest in tax policy.”
Following law school, Janet clerked for Frank M. Coffin, then Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and returned to Washington, D.C. to work as an in-house attorney for The Washington Post, and then as an associate at Covington & Burling. In 1990, she went to Capitol Hill, where she was legislative assistant to Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Three years later, she headed north when her husband became publisher of a daily paper in northern New England. Vermont Law School, which specializes in environmental law, responded favorably to Janet’s proposal to teach a course in environmental taxation and subsequently invited her to teach other courses, including tax. “I had always wanted to teach after building a foundation of other professional experiences, and the stars lined up perfectly. I was able to merge my professional training in taxation with my interest in environmental issues earlier in my career.”
Through the Environmental Tax Policy Institute that Janet has created at the law school, she conducts externally funded research, and she hosted the Third Annual Global Conference on Environmental Taxation in 2002. She is a member of the four-person steering committee for the Annual Global Conference and is co-editor of the book series that publishes selected papers from the conferences, Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation (Oxford University Press). She also serves as a Vice Chair of the ABA Tax Section’s Energy and Environmental Taxes Committee and recently spoke at the European Commission’s first Brussels Tax Forum, which focused on environmental taxation. She continues to enjoy working at the intersection of tax law and environmental law. “For a tax professor, it’s a bit like being a hybrid vehicle—I have the extra battery pack of environmental law on board—but the combination of tax policy and environmental policy creates some fascinating opportunities.” In her spare time, Janet enjoys cooking, traveling, and watching for moose.
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