Energy Property Rights Tax Land

A Potentially Deadly Consequence Of The Clean Heat Standard

Many of the businesses that deliver fossil-based heating fuels (oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene) in Vermont are small, mom & pop operations. Some, as describe by Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, are just one person “with a truck and a cell phone.” These companies exist on the margins of financial viability. The Read More…

Crime and Safety Tax Land

Senate Committee Would Expand Right To Sue Police

A bill that would expose police to lawsuits for exercising their duties is scheduled for review Wednesday 9 am in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  S254 would “create a private right of action [power to file suit] against law enforcement officers for violations of Vermont constitutional, statutory, and common law rights. This bill also proposes to waive Read More…

Tax Land

Nonprofits control taxpayer money without much oversight

We usually think of nonprofit organizations as the local food shelf, summer stock theater, libraries, and the local hospital. I intended to take a sabbatical from writing about the Vermont nonprofit sector until I came across Vermont Business Magazine’s recent issue, 2021/2022 Giving Guide. The Guide had a plethora of data on the largest, by revenue, of Read More…

Statehouse Tax Land

New bill: multi-lingual state government

A “language access” bill introduced into the Vermont House today would require state agencies serving “a substantial number” of non-English speakers to offer translated materials and bi-lingual staff. H692 would require state agencies to “implement language access services, including the use of translated materials, bilingual staff, or contracted interpretation services, when the agency serves a substantial Read More…

Be Informed Statehouse Tax Land

VT Senators Ponder SALES TAX ON SERVICES

Six months ago, the Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission recommended expanding Vermont’s “sales tax base to all consumer-level purchases of goods and services except healthcare and casual consumer-to-consumer transactions” while reduce the sales tax rate to 3.6%.* Given the chance to consider the proposal, one senator appeared especially eager to consider the proposal. The idea Read More…

Statehouse Tax Land VT Daily Chronicle

Bill increases per diem pay from $50 to $125

The number of Vermonters serving on state boards and commissions is growing. And so will their pay, if a new House bill becomes law.  H545, introduced Jan. 11 into the Vermont House, would increase the per diem pay for members of Vermont’s boards and commissions from $50 to $125. Most members of these appointed boards and commissions Read More…

Business & Economics Statehouse Tax Land

The Peril of the Federal Billions

 On January 5 Gov. Phil Scott delivered an upbeat State of the State message. He declared that though Vermont has many unmet needs  –  his leading example was a “desperate need for more people and workers.” – “anything is possible”. Why is anything possible? “Thanks to the work of our Congressional Delegation – especially Senator Read More…

Be Informed Hot! Statehouse Tax Land

NEW Gas-Powered Car TAX Just For You!

The House Transportation Committee is about to take up H.552 – An act relating to transportation initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, which would, among other things, impose new taxes (or fines, depending upon how you look at it) on vehicles that get less than 24 miles per gallon of gasoline or diesel. These “efficiency fees”, that’s Read More…

John Klar
Business & Economics Education Tax Land

Vermont’s State Pensions Cannot be Saved: What Now?

David Coates merits credit for sounding the alarm for years about the substantial underfunding patterns of the Vermont pensions. Most recently he was prescient in an article titled “State retirement plans need a robust stress test.” But alas, this test is more robust than Mr. Coates suggested was needed. Vermont’s public pension system is grossly Read More…

Education Tax Land

Act 46 School Choice “Mega-District” Enjoys Lower Budgets and Lower Property Taxes

By Rob Roper Act 46, the mandatory school district consolidation bill passed in 2015, was sold with the promise that it would lower the cost public education in Vermont. It has not lived up to that promise (get ready for a massive property tax increase) with one very interesting exception: The Northeast Kingdom School Choice Read More…

Tax Land VT Daily Chronicle

Legislature Considers Candy Tax; A Feud Over Idling Enforcement

By Guy Page March 11, 2020 – The House Ways & Means Committee is scheduled to discuss a sales tax on candy tomorrow morning, according to its weekly agenda.  According to a member of the committee, the proposed tax will be six percent, the same as the general sales tax. At present, candy is considered a Read More…

Business & Economics Energy Statehouse Tax Land VT Daily Chronicle

House Committee Mulls Forcing Employers to Reduce Commuter Traffic

By Guy Page March 9, 2020 – The Vermont House Transportation Committee is shelving – for now – a plan to require Vermont employers to participate in “the statewide reduction in single-occupancy pleasure car trips.” Virtually all cars are defined by state law as “pleasure cars.”  The aim of the legislation is to decrease the Read More…

Business & Economics Education Tax Land

Who Should Pay for Vermont’s Pension Crisis?

By Rob Roper Vermont now has a $4.5 billion unfunded public pension liability for teachers and municipal workers. The politicians who created this problem are slow (stationary, actually) to take up the task of fixing this because the numbers are huge and telling someone they’re going to have to suck it up and pay does Read More…

Business & Economics Energy Statehouse Tax Land

From the Climate Solutions Caucus

* The Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688) recently passed the House on a strong vote of 105-37 and turns Vermont’s goals for carbon emission reductions into requirements. It requires the state to create a plan for meeting these targets and gives individuals a cause-of-action tool for court intervention if Vermont fails to develop or effectively Read More…