Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Vermont Budget > Statement on Legislators’ Proposal to Recoup Tax Cut Revenue

Statement on Legislators’ Proposal to Recoup Tax Cut Revenue

Vermont cannot continue to cut its way out of its budget problems. The Legislature needs to include new revenue as part of a balanced approach to balancing the budget. One obvious place to look is in the federal income tax savings Congress recently extended to the top 5 percent of Vermont taxpayers. They are saving $190 million this year through the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and they will have similar savings next year.  The proposal by Sen. Anthony Pollina and Rep. Chris Pearson would raise only $17 million to help address the $176 million projected fiscal 2012 budget gap, but it’s a start.

We also hope the Legislature will follow through on the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission. The commission proposed some sensible changes to the income tax, which should make it easier to understand. However, the rates recommended by the commission need to be adjusted to make sure the income tax, which is our fairest tax, continues to generate at least as much money as it does now.

The Legislature also should fix the sales tax by eliminating the exemption for services. Without this necessary change, revenue from the sales tax won’t grow with the economy because in Vermont, as elsewhere, consumers spend more on services than they do on taxable goods.

Posted by Sarah Lyons on February 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm

5 Responses to “Statement on Legislators’ Proposal to Recoup Tax Cut Revenue”


    Agree Its time to expand the sales tax and also ask the wealthy to give back 5.5% of the Bush tax cuts!

  2. lynn bohi says:

    I can’t believe Vermont would lower income tax on the people with the most money and, as recommended by Blue RIbbon Commission, put a sales tax on services. Don’t we all know sales tax is regressive, paid in much larger percentage by lower income people? Thanks to Public Assets for a sane voice. lynn

  3. Roger Bourassa says:

    The Pollina/Pearson proposal is much to modest. We should recover the entire $190m to offset the entire deficit. No disabled, needy child or elderly should be put at risk b/c we are unwilling to tax the most wealthy in our society. We need only reflect on this “great recession” we are experiencing to know why state and local government’s, the unemployed and the common American is suffering economically b/c of some of the greedy wealthy people. It is time to maintain services for the needy and tax the wealthy.

  4. Heather says:

    I am not one of the wealthy however I would like to be incented to work hard so I can become one. The money to which many of you our referring belongs to those who earned it – it is not the “state’s money” to recoup. The wealthly, as I understand it, pay more than their fair share. I would like to think that if I work hard and am successful, I won’t get penalized for it. Wealthy people are not enemy here. Entitlements are – people feeling they are entitled to what others have earned or entitled to services that they don’t need to contribute toward. At least, if we go the sales tax route I can make informed decisions about where I want to pay my tax dollars. We need to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves however, how many people have the means to take care of themselves and are just lazy and feel entitled to live off the income of our wealthy citizens? Who is the one who is greedy now?

  5. Damon says:

    Heather, when the wealthy have taken 80% of worker’s productivity gains since the 70’s, they haven’t earned it. Their incomes have climbed that whole time, and are up 65% since 2008! (That’s Vermonters making over $200k/yr, enjoying a massive increase in income during the recession!) For working people, incomes have been the same since the 70’s. That is not fair. Don’t you think workers should have shared in the gains? Seeking to ensure that all Vermonters have enough food, heat, and shelter to survive is not greedy.