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.
Many people wait until the April deadline to file their tax returns electronically. In an increasing number of instances they’re discovering they are unable to submit their return because a scammer has already filed in their name in hopes of collecting their refund.
The Vermont Tax Department says there’s been a significant increase in the number of Vermonters targeted by the tax fraud scheme.
Tax Commissioner Mary Peterson says for the most recent tax year the state has identified 300 such tax returns.
Several national companies that offer small loans at high interest rates have agreed to refund money to more than one thousand Vermont borrowers.
The agreement is the result of a lawsuit brought by the Vermont Attorney General against companies illegally offering what are called payday loans.
The loans are often used by individuals who are unable to secure a bank loan. That was the case with Greg and Rhonda Wood of Thetford. Four years ago a health problem forced Greg to stop working and his income dropped dramatically.
Workers facing unemployment in May when Bennington’s Plasan Carbon Composites closes got a crash course Friday in the art of job hunting. More than 50 people showed up at the Bennington Career Center for a day of workshops sponsored by the Vermont Department of Labor.
About 160 workers, two thirds of them Vermonters, will lose their jobs when Plasan Carbon Composites leaves the state. The company makes carbon composite components for high-priced sports cars. It announced in February it was moving to Michigan to be closer to the automotive industry.
Gov. Peter Shumlin and legislative leaders want to devote up to $5 million to help the state attract and keep high tech jobs.
Shumlin says the money will add flexibility and speed to the state’s economic development effort.
Vermont already has programs to help businesses, but they are loan programs, like those administered by the Vermont Economic Development Authority, or the tax incentives offered through Vermont Economic Progress Council.
The nation’s largest discount retailer continued to expand in Vermont in 2013.
According to the company's latest annual report, Dollar General opened three new stores in Vermont last year. The Tennessee-based chain says it now has 20 Vermont stores. In 2007, the company had just one outlet in the state.