Budget Writers Say $35 Million Needed in New Revenues

by  at VTDigger

Members of the House tax and budget committees commiserated Friday over the bad news: This year, just like last year, lawmakers are having trouble resolving the state’s budget gap.

And this year, just like last year, legislators are looking for a big chunk of new revenue. Last year the Legislature and the governor raised $30 million in new taxes. The nut for fiscal year 2017 is $35 million.

Last year, Gov. Peter Shumlin and Democrats in the House raised broad-based taxes: an extension of the sales tax to include soda and several changes to income tax deductions. No one is proposing increases this year on meals and rooms, sales and income taxes.

The options are limited: a $20 million hike in fees paid by mutual fund companies; $8 million in higher so-called employer assessments for large companies that don’t offer health insurance for workers; a $2.3 million bump in the franchise tax for large banks; and $3 million in miscellaneous fees.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee squirmed in their seats as they listened to Rep. Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero, chair of House Appropriations, explain that they needed to come up with more in tax revenues.

Read the whole article at VTDigger.com