Legislature Attempts to Raise at Least $83 Million More in Taxes
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement:
“As too many of our families and businesses are aware, the affordability crisis is real. Its undermining the economies in most counties across the state. Working to reverse this trend is one of the primary reasons I ran for governor.
“Since taking office, I’ve talked a lot about how important it is to moderate the costs in state government as we work to grow the economy, make Vermont more affordable and modernize state government so we are getting more value out of every hard-earned taxpayer dollar – all of which ensures we can continue to protect the most vulnerable.
“My fiscal and economic priorities could not be clearer: Vermonters need a break. Yet the legislative majority continues to advance legislation that proposes millions of dollars in new or higher taxes and fees, knowing it will lead to impasse.
“Last year – with the support from a bipartisan group of legislators focused on affordability – we prevented millions of dollars in proposed taxes and fees by insisting on a budget that did not raise a single tax or fee.
“Currently, the legislative majority has either passed or is poised to pass a total of $83 million in new or higher taxes – $25 million of taxes in policy bills and a $58 million property tax rate increase.
“Again, this approach is unacceptable to me. And based on what I’ve heard over the last two years, it is unacceptable to most taxpayers.
“Vermonters understand we can’t make our state more affordable by making it more expensive. They also understand it’s going to take consistent fiscal discipline, and much more innovation and modernization in government, to strengthen our economic foundation and help families and employers get ahead of the additional tax burden previously placed on them.
“I want to thank the Republican minority and the fiscally responsible Democrats and Independents in both the House and Senate for sharing this commitment. We are prepared to stand together again this year to make Vermont more affordable and our economy stronger. Frankly, this reality makes the effort to pass a budget they know we will not support – and that I will veto – an unnecessary waste of time and resources.
“If the majority leadership will focus on ways we can achieve bipartisan consensus that ensures state government is living within its means, making investments that will grow the economy and doing its part to help Vermonters keep more of what they earn, then this session can end on a positive note.”