Governor Phil Scott Delivers Balanced Budget Without Raising Taxes or Fees for Second Consecutive Year
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott delivered his budget address Tuesday, reaffirming his commitment to fiscal responsibility and ensuring the cost of state government to Vermonters is not growing faster than their ability to pay.
For the second consecutive year, Gov. Scott has proposed a budget that does not raise a single tax or fee, while making key investments to expand Vermont’s workforce, expand homeownership, improve health and provide tax relief to Vermonters by exempting military pensions from state income tax and phasing out state taxes on Social Security income for low and moderate-income households.
In his address, Gov. Scott called on the Legislature to continue to work with him to put “all ideas on the table” to reform the Education Fund to ensure Vermonters do not see an increase in statewide property tax rates and to eliminate inefficiencies in the system that are preventing additional investments in more, and better, educational opportunities for kids. Earlier this month, the Administration identified 18 reforms that would close the projected deficit, update the funding formula, and sustain longer-term savings.
The Governor’s budget address also detailed key performance indicators the Administration will use to measure the effectiveness of state investments and work.
To evaluate the impact state investments and initiatives on the economy, the Administration will measure the size of the workforce, growth in the number – and size – of employers and regional wage growth.
To track progress on affordability, the Administration will measure the percent of household income spent on taxes, fees, housing (including utility bills) and healthcare.
Finally, to assess the impact on protecting the most vulnerable and helping lift Vermonters out of poverty, the Administration will measure and report the percent of households below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, the rate of homelessness, level of kindergarten readiness and access to affordable health care.