4-28-14 – Vermont’s Business “Assessment”

by John McClaughry

Last Thursday the Senate Finance Committee turned to the most promising method of raising another $3.5 million dollars to try to balance next year’s general fund budget.

With this legislature, the question is not “where can he cut back spending to balance the budget”, but “where can we extract a few  million dollars more to balance the budget?”

Guess what Chairman Tim Ashe revealed to be the most promising target for tax increases: business! – in particular, the Catamount employer assessment. This tax on businesses was enacted in 2006 to finance Catamount Health for the uninsured. Last year the legislature dissolved Catamount Health into the new Vermont HealthConnect.

Did the legislature repeal the $14 million dollar Catamount tax when it repealed the insurance program? Of course not. They continued the tax and now want to increase it by another $3.5 million.

Vermont Digger reports that about 2,366 employers pay the assessment on 31,000 employees, according to estimates from the Joint Fiscal Office. Out of those totals, there are 1,853 small employers with 11,743 workers.

Sen. Ashe blandly said “The committee would prefer to make a slight adjustment in the employer assessment on companies that do not provide insurance for employees.”  Note: in Montpelier a “slight adjustment” in a tax rate is always upward.

This is one more demonstration that Vermont businesses are the ultimate cash cow for the big spenders now in power.

John McClaughry is the founder and current vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

Olivia de Havilland, RIP

July 31, 2020 By John McClaughry Olivia de Havilland died last week at the age of 104. She was remembered by most  for her role as Melanie in Gone...

Covid Is the Iceberg that Sinks the Public School System

July 31, 2020 by Rob Roper Covid 19 is going to change how many things are done around the world even long after it’s gone, and some for...

The Government that Cried ‘Mask Mandate’

July 30, 2020 By David Flemming As Governor Scott’s mask mandate looms on August 1, a popular question many Vermonters are asking is “how strictly will it be...

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...