Berlin, VT – Today, the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs passed H.196, a bill imposing a substantial payroll tax on Vermonters and forces businesses to provide mandatory paid family leave.
In response, Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party, issued the following statement:
“This piece of legislation will add $80-million in new taxes to Vermont workers — $5-million on state employees alone — and is a step in completely the wrong direction. Vermonters are begging for tax relief.
“It’s like the Vermont Democrats and Progressives have completely tuned out Vermonters, businesses and those struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Lt. Governor David Zuckerman are personally shepherding legislation through committees that continue to lay dangerous burdens on businesses and job creators.
“As of November 2016 Forbes Magazine ranked Vermont the 2nd highest cost state in the nation in which to do business (https://www.forbes.com/places/vt/). With each bill and each statement by Lt. Governor Zuckerman and Speaker Johnson, Vermont inches closer and closer to becoming the most expensive state in the country in which to do business.
“This will add $7.5 million in costs in FY 2017, $17 million the year after, and an additional $20 million in lost productivity for the state of Vermont.
“As Governor Phil Scott highlighted in his statement earlier today, less than 10% of legislation proposed this session is economy-related. If we are going to tackle the affordability crisis and inspire students to stay in Vermont post graduation, we need to work with the private-sector to create jobs.
“We are very thankful for the Vermont Republican House members on this committee who gave a voice to Vermonters who are suffering under the Vermont Democrat created affordability crisis in our state. They unanimously stood against this tax hike on working Vermonters. Thank you to:
Rep. Job Tate – Mendon
Rep. Heidi Scheuerman – Stowe
Rep. Brian Smith – Derby
Rep. Vicki Strong – Albany
“We continue to call on Lt. Governor Dave Zuckerman, Rep. Mitzi Johnson and the rest of the Vermont Democrats to be forthcoming about the additional taxes they plan to raise and how they expect hard-working Vermonters — and the businesses they operate or work in — to survive in an environment of ever decreasing affordability.”