The fact that Vermonters are already overtaxed was recognized by Governor Shumlin in 2007:
“We are spending too much, and have used up our tax capacity.” WCAX YCQM 1/14/07
“There is no more tax capacity left in Vermont. There is no more money in the bank.” (Rutland Herald, 2/1/07).
“It’s just not there. We are tapped out.” (Brattleboro Reformer, 2/20/07).
It looks like our legislature has not gotten the message, as evidenced by the push for $24 Million in new taxes. Of course Shumlim himself seems to be exhibiting some flexibility on this issue himself, as noted by TNR Reporter Angela Shagnon:
“At his weekly press conference, Governor Peter Shumlin defended his endorsement of a three percent provider tax that would have hit dentists (among others),”
The following quote was sent to me by a friend:
“I find it more than a little ironic that we are going to add to the rising cost of healthcare with these taxes, and then use the increasing cost of healthcare to justify the need for a single-payer healthcare system.” – State Rep Oliver Olsen, 3/23/11
I have not seen this particular quote, but have heard several others expressing a similar sentiment.
When it comes to dreaming up new taxes to impose on Vermonters, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The so-called “Road Map to a Universal and a Unified Health System”, as H.202 is being called, is loaded with schemes to raise taxes. On page 71 the bill spells out some of the plans to raise our taxes:
(b) In developing both financing plans, the secretary shall consider the following:
(1) financing sources, including adjustments to the income tax, a payroll tax, consumption taxes, provider assessments required under 33 V.S.A. chapter 19, the employer assessment required by 21 V.S.A. chapter 25, other new or existing taxes, and additional options as determined by the secretary;
So, in order to fund this scheme, they are considering adjustments to the income tax, the payroll tax, and consumption taxes, as well as assessments to both healthcare providers and employers. As if all this was not enough, they are also considering other new or existing taxes and additional options.
I think that it is safe to assume that the adjustments they are planning will not be decreases. In short, the plan appears to extract as much revenue, in as many ways as can be conceived, from the already overburdened Vermont taxpayers. If we thought that we were already overtaxed, just wait and see what our political leadership has in store for us.