Clean Water Funding Plan Without Cloud Tax Heads to Scott's Desk
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Posted by: Jeff Couture
The Vermont House of Representatives agreed Wednesday to support a Senate proposal to fund clean water projects without raising new taxes, a feat made possible by unexpectedly robust state revenue collections.
The House voted 133-5 to concur with the Senate changes, meaning the bill now heads to Gov. Phil Scott for his likely signature.
"It looks like we're in a good place," Scott's spokesperson, Rebecca Kelley, told Seven Days after the vote.
The plan would take 6 percent of existing room and meals tax revenue that is normally committed to the general fund and divert it to the state clean water fund. The move would raise $8 million during nine months of next year and $12 million for water projects each full year thereafter.
Lawmakers argued that the state can afford the additional spending because revenues are tracking $50 million higher than expected this year, with projections of at least $15 million of that increase to recur in future years.
Before the new financial projections, the House had proposed a “cloud tax” on software purchased over the internet to replenish rooms and meals revenues taken from the education fund.