Taxes

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation strongly oppose a new GOP tax plan
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say a new Republican tax plan in Washington will provide wealthy Americans with a huge tax cut while raising taxes on some middle income people.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The idea of a tax on gasoline and heating oil is politically fraught, to say the least, but one Vermont business group says it’s time for elected officials to embrace the carbon tax.

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation strongly oppose a new GOP tax plan
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say they'll oppose President Trump's tax plan because it favors the richest Americans.

Talking Taxes

Feb 3, 2017
Angela Evancie / VPR file

With the Legislature back in session, it's open season to discuss taxes. And there are many tax issues to talk about.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Matt Dunne is one of three Democratic candidates for governor heading into the primary, and he joined Vermont Edition for a one-on-one discussion.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Peter Galbraith, a Democratic candidate for governor, joined Vermont Edition on Monday for a one-on-one conversation. This interview is part of VPR’s "Meet the Candidates" series, where we will address a range of topics, but also want each participating candidate’s thoughts on four specific issues: gun control, taxes, marijuana legalization and health care.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders finally released his full 2014 tax returns Friday evening, following pressure from his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination and a wave of media criticism.

Toby Talbot / AP/File

The House has given its preliminary approval to a $33 million tax bill that's part of an overall plan to reduce the state's $110 million dollar budget gap.

Taking On Taxes

Feb 27, 2015
Toby Talbot / AP

Governor Shumlin's plan to impose a payroll tax on all businesses to boost Medicaid reimbursement rates is getting a very lukewarm reception at the Statehouse. There's also been talk of other potential revenue sources like changes in the income tax, the gas tax and the rooms and meals tax.

How Sweet The Tax?

Feb 13, 2015
Mark Lennihan / AP

A coalition of Vermonters has once again asked the Vermont legislature to take up the issue of adding a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. They want to see two cents added to the cost of every ounce of soda.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says his plan to reduce the Medicaid cost shift would cut health care costs at public schools. But school boards worry Shumlin’s proposal might instead put upward pressure on property taxes.

Ensup / iStock

In 2013 Senator Phillip Baruth introduced a bill that would have prohibited the manufacture or sale of high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault weapons. A week later, he backed off the bill citing a lack of support among his colleagues and mounting opposition from outside the Statehouse.

State income tax revenues for the crucial month of April were drastically off target, according to a release from the Shumlin Administration late Wednesday afternoon. But Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says an unexpected windfall in the estate tax will offset most of the financial harm.

Source: Vermont Department of Taxes

A simple check-off box added to the 2013 Vermont State Individual Tax Return has significantly increased the number of people who declare out-of-state and online purchases.

By law the use tax, similar to the sales tax, is levied on many of the purchases, although the state has no way of tracking them.

In the past the majority of taxpayers simply left the line blank on the tax form instead of calculating their use tax.

This year the state added a line that reads “Check here to certify that no Use Tax is due.”

After fighting about this issue in the final days of the session, the two sides did agree to work together over the summer but some major disagreements have emerged right at the start.

The two sides do agree on one thing. To determine a person’s tax burden, they want to shift from using an individual’s “taxable income,” to what’s known as “adjusted gross income.” This number is larger because it comes before applying a series of deductions. 

If you use this “adjusted gross” number, and most states do, you can lower the tax rate without changing a person’s tax burden.

Toby Talbot / AP

Legislative leaders decided on Monday not to challenge Gov. Peter Shumlin over their plan to lower income tax rates.

The key to the deal was the assurance by the governor that he will work with lawmakers on a similar tax plan next January.

Democratic leaders at the Statehouse didn’t relish the possibility of getting into a major fight over taxes with a governor from their own party in the final days of the session.

VPR/Kirk Carapezza

With the support of some members of the Vermont business community, the House on Friday morning finalized a bill to require labeling food that contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The vote was 99-42.

Hundreds of businesses and all 17 of the state’s food cooperatives have expressed their support for GMO labeling.

Legislative leaders are working on a new tax plan that could put Governor Peter Shumlin in an awkward position.

For most of the session, the tax committees at the Statehouse worked on a plan to raise new revenue by capping income tax deductions and by imposing a minimum 3 percent tax rate for everyone who makes more than $125,000.

But the plan seemed to be dead when the Governor and Legislative leaders announced a deal to balance the state budget without raising any taxes.

VPR/Kirk Carapezza

Governor Peter Shumlin and Legislative leaders have agreed on a plan to balance next year’s budget without raising new taxes but some changes to the income tax could still happen.

For weeks the Administration and legislative leaders have been negotiating over the size of next year’s budget and the tax package that would be needed to support the budget plan.

Then, at the end of last week, they got the unexpected good news that revenues for April were $16 million higher than expected.

The Senate has passed a tax bill that raises $10 million in new revenue but it faces the strong opposition of Governor Peter Shumlin.

With very little debate or opposition, the Senate gave its strong support to its 2013 tax bill. The legislation uses four primary sources to raise the additional revenue.

It caps the amount of mortgage interest that can be deducted on the income tax, it imposes a minimum 3 percent tax for all people who earn more than $125,000, it applies the sales tax to bottled water and it places a tax on satellite TV services.

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