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Statement From Governor Phil Scott on the Legislature’s Veto Overrides, Which Impose More Costs on Vermonters and Disproportionately Harm Rural Vermont

June 17, 2024

Today, the Vermont Legislature voted to override the Governor on several bills, despite reasonable compromises being offered that would have made sure more parts of the state benefitted. Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement in response:

“Today is a sad day for Vermonters who simply cannot afford further tax burdens and cost increases. Many will talk about these votes as a major loss for me, but it’s really a major loss for Vermont taxpayers, workers and families.

“Despite having an opportunity for commonsense – and more equitable, and affordable – compromises, the Legislature chose to override many consequential bills I vetoed on behalf of Vermonters.

“With their votes, they have not only decided to impose a historic double digit property tax increase this year but also added pressure on property taxes next year before even factoring in next year’s school budgets. Despite knowing about this since December 1, they have done nothing to prevent property taxes from increasing in the future.

“They also have imposed a renewable energy standard that will increase Vermonters’ electric bills by hundreds of millions of dollars over the next ten years.

“They have passed an expansion of Act 250 that will make it harder, and in some cases impossible, to build and restore homes and grow businesses in smaller, rural communities, pushing them even further behind.

“They have failed to meet the moment on housing, ignoring many tools to increase the availability and affordability of homes across the state, while specifically excluding three counties – Bennington, Grand Isle and Essex – from taking advantage of the property tax freeze to revitalize housing.

“And they have done all of this on top of the costs they added last year, including a 20% increase to DMV fees, a brand-new payroll tax effective July 1, and expected increases to home heating fuel as a result of the clean heat standard – all of which were also imposed over my vetoes.

“My team and I have spent this entire legislative session trying to keep costs down for Vermonters, while acting to make housing more affordable and more available, improving our education system for kids and taxpayers, and revitalizing communities so we can keep and attract the workers we desperately need. It is clear this Legislature, led by the super majority, has little interest in compromise, listening to their constituents, or taking a moderate approach on any issue.

“I will continue to fight on behalf of Vermonters in all corners of this state, but we need more balance in Montpelier, and lawmakers who will put people and communities over party politics.”