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Fiscal Responsibility

Submitted by matt.stirnweis… on Fri, 11/04/2022 - 11:26
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Holding the Line on New Taxes & Fees and Slowing State Budget Growth

  • Governor Scott has held the line on adding new, or increasing existing, taxes throughout his tenure.

 

  • The FY18 State budget did not raise or add taxes or fees and held statewide property tax rates level for residential and non-residential rate payers.

 

  • The FY19 State budget did not raise or add taxes or fees and held statewide property tax rates level for residential rate payers for a second consecutive year.

 

  • In 2018, the Governor worked to implement a new approach to managing the State’s Education Fund, which – with the support and hard work of school boards across the state – helped Vermonters avoid about $71 million in forecasted property tax rate increases. Of those total savings, $29 million were a direct result of the Governor’s budget vetoes.

 

Strategic Planning and Budgeting 

  • Developed a State Strategic Plan, setting specific, measurable goals to improve the lives of Vermonters and aligning state policy development to this plan.

 

  • The Administration uses the state strategic plan to prioritize policy and investments that will make the biggest impact for Vermonters, moving the state closer to results-based budgeting and accountability. 

 

Funding Liabilities and Paying Down Debt

Managing state debt and addressing longstanding liabilities is key to good fiscal management that puts the state on better footing. The Scott Administration’s work, alongside the Treasurers office, legislators and other key partners, includes:

  • All budgets passed under the Scott administration (FY18-FY23) have met or surpassed the required investments in our state employees’ and teachers’ pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) obligations. 
  • The FY19 budget adjustment and the FY20 budget both paid down unfunded liabilities with:
  • $22.2 million to retire an internal loan funding retired teachers’ health benefits.
  • $3.3 million to make an additional payment to the retired teachers’ pension plan.
  • Statutory changes to direct a portion of future General Fund surplus reserves to the state employee’s OPEB trust fund.
  • In FY23, the state also:
    • Reduced tax-supported general obligation debt service by over $2.1 million through the early retirement of $20 million in callable bonds.
    • Retired $19.9 million of Transportation Infrastructure Bond (TIB) debt early, resulting in an overall interest savings of over $3.9 million.
    • Established a Capital Expenditure Cash Fund in lieu of bonding for certain eligible capital projects. If utilized per the Administration’s proposal, this fund could result in an over $300 million reduction in the issuance of general obligation debt over the course of 20 years.
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