The Vermont Economy

VPR's Steve Zind

VPR senior reporter Steve Zind focuses on the Vermont economy and its impact on our lives. Follow Steve Zind on Twitter, post comments on the stories, and let Steve know what local economy stories you think VPR should cover.

A Craftsbury Outdoor Center rowing coach instructs a camper on Great Hosmer Pond from a motorized coaching launch.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is abandoning a rulemaking effort for Great Hosmer Pond. Instead, the department is examining new ideas for managing competing uses on all of Vermont’s lakes and ponds.

529 plans allow people to put away money for college and the contributions grow tax free. People who use them can avoid paying taxes when the money is withdrawn for qualified college education expenses.
wutwhanfoto / iStock

With the recent passage of a federal tax bill, the college savings plans — called 529 plans — many people use to pay for their child's education are changing.

Sen. Debbie Ingram, at podium, was among several Vermont senators Friday to call for legislation that would ban employers from asking applicants about their salary histories.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A bipartisan group of female senators has introduced legislation that they say will help close the pay gap between men and women.

An issue of "Vermont Life" magazine on a table.
Henry Epp / VPR

The state of Vermont has turned down nine bids for Vermont Life and will keep control of its promotional magazine.

a paper chain cutout of a family held up by two hands with a sunset in the background.
BrianAJackson / iStock

The 2017 "How are Vermont’s Young Children and Families?" report paints a mixed picture in terms of economic well-being, access to services and a range of health indicators.

The report also underscores the impact of parental substance abuse in reported instances of child abuse and neglect and in the number of children in state custody.

Poverty in Vermont has steadily increased over the last ten years.
Dirty Dog Creative / iStock

Poverty is on the rise in Vermont, with roughly one in nine Vermonters struggling to make ends meet. It's a trend that's steadily increased over the last decade. A new report shows more Vermonters are struggling to pay for basics like food, housing, and child care. What policies will best help those who are struggling the most?

Central Vermont Internet is a proposed Communications Union District that could supply high-speed internet from Elmore to Roxbury.
Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

One often-cited barrier that gets in the way of young professionals moving to Vermont is the lack of high-speed internet in many communities around the state. And where something doesn't exist, it is incumbent upon someone to create it.

Flags in the School for International Training dining hall, pictured here in February 2017.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

The School for International Training will be slashing staff at its campus in Brattleboro.

SIT opened in 1964 and was one of the first schools to stress international learning with a focus on overseas travel and study.

The Macy's store in Burlington will close in March, the company announced this week.
Henry Epp / VPR

This week, Macy’s announced it will close its downtown Burlington store in March. It’s one of 100 locations the department store chain plans to close around the country.

Keron Asencio has been staying at the new warming shelter in Montpelier.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

This week's extreme weather tested the state's shelter system for the homeless.

Stevens & Associates

A downtown development project in Bennington is back on track after Congress preserved crucial funding sources in the tax bill that President Trump signed last week.

Fantasy sports companies, like DraftKings and FanDuel will now be subject to tighter regulations in the state of Vermont. The companies that run fantasy sports often sponsor tournaments like the one seen here in 2015.
Kathy Willens / AP/file

The Scott Administration has signed off on a regulatory structure for fantasy sports companies in Vermont.

For the most part, the minimum wage gap among New England states will narrow in 2018.

Accountants say the federal tax overhaul could not only change your tax bill, but also influence the choices homeowners, nonprofits, and businesses make.
U.S. Air Force

A major overhaul to how our country collects taxes has passed through Congress and now awaits the President's signature to become law. What does it mean for Vermont taxpayers? Vermont Edition dives into the details of the new tax plan with an accountant and the state tax commissioner.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

U.S. Senate Republicans voted along party lines (with no Democratic support) to approve a sweeping tax overhaul bill. The U.S. House has one more vote Wednesday, after which, the legislation will be ready for President Trump to sign into law by Christmas.

State Senator Jane Kitchel, Joe Rossignoli of National Grid, Northeastern Vermont Development Association President Grant Spates and NVDA Executive Director Dave Snedeker were on hand for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
Todd Bailey / Leonine Public Affairs

The National Grid energy company and economic development officials in the Northeast Kingdom have signed a deal that commits $20 million to the region for hosting transmission lines.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

A Northeast Kingdom manufacturer is anticipating a swift upturn in business, now that the United States has imposed a steep tariff on Chinese plywood.

"Vermont Edition" hears arguments for and against a carbon tax plan that will affect gasoline and heating oil prices.
Predrag Vuckovic / iStock

A carbon tax in Vermont has been floated before, but never gained much traction. But a new proposal - dubbed The ESSEX Plan - is going before lawmakers in 2018.

Crafts, spirits, food, and more: what are you favorite "Made in Vermont" gifts?
From left: Vermont Holiday Craft Shop; Silo Distillery; Wikimedia Commons; Boutin Snowshoes

What makes a perfect gift that shares the spirit of Vermont? Vermont Edition is showcasing the handiwork of the Green Mountain State with a show dedicated to "Made in Vermont" gifts.

Calais Rep. Janet Ancel, pictured here in 2015, is chairwoman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Ancel says lawmakers will likely devote much of the 2018 legislative session to understanding what the federal tax overhaul means for Vermont.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The chairwoman of the House Committee on Ways and Means says changes in the federal tax code could force some tough decisions for Vermont lawmakers next year.

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