This past week the Vermont House passed a tax bill that would cost Vermonters $27 million in new taxes in Fiscal Year 2014 and another $32 million in Fiscal Year 2015.
This bill proposes to make changes to Vermont’s income tax, sales and use tax, meals and rooms tax, cigarette tax, property tax, gross receipts tax on heating oil, kerosene, non-highway diesel fuel, propane, natural gas, electricity, coal, and a home health agency provider tax.
These taxes in addition to the increase in gasoline taxes passed a month ago, represent the largest and most comprehensive tax increases ever.
Our Shelburne House representatives Joan Lenes and Kate Webb both voted in favor of this complete array of tax increases. It is hard to imagine that they don’t understand what this means to the majority of hard working Vermonter’s already struggling with a high cost of living and a slowly recovering economy.
There is no evidence that decreases in government spending have been considered seriously. It seems the Legislature is averse to searching out ways to reduce expenses. It seems easier for them to raise our taxes than to tackle the job of reduced spending. For instance over the past two years, hundreds of new state jobs have been added and it appears that the plans are for this to continue. If we didn’t add so many new programs in the first place we would be able to balance our budget and have a surplus.
It is fervently hoped that our Shelburne representatives will rethink their positions and not continue to support this burdensome tax bill.
George Schiavone, Shelburne