The Covid economic shutdowns have placed an enormous burden on small businesses. Even if the projections for an effective vaccine coming out sometime this spring are accurate and that some sense of normalcy might return by next fall, the hole these employers need to dig out of, especially in the hospitality industries, is daunting. Will the Vermont state government be part of the solution, or part of the problem?
According to stories in the New Hampshire media, Governor Chris Sununu (R) wants to cut their state rooms and meals tax, which now stands at 9%, the same as Vermont.
The Vermont Tax Commissioner published his forecast, as required by law, on December 1 regarding property tax rates for FY22. It’s not a pretty picture: an expected average 9.5% increase in Vermont homeowners’ property tax bills and a 10% increase for non-homestead properties. These increases will fund an estimated 3.79% overall increase in spending.
The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), referring to the organization itself rather than the policy, has put off publication of their final proposal for a multi-state, regional carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for well over half a year. Originally, they promised to release it in the spring of 2020, then hinted at summer, and are currently operating under a promise to do so this fall – a window rapidly closing. Presumably, the delays are part of a strategy to hold off until a politically opportune time. It doesn’t appear such a time will ever transpire. Increasingly, TCI looks dead on arrival.
The latest blow comes from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who, up until a very short time ago, was TCI’s biggest cheerleader. But now, according to the Boston Herald, “Gov. Charlie Baker said governors are re-evaluating support of a controversial carbon tax designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions….”
The nation and Vermont are at a tipping point. We have to decide if we are going to maintain the Constitutional freedoms set in place by our founders – the ideas and principles that made us the greatest country in the world – or abandon them for a path toward socialism, speech codes, and McCarthyite blacklisting of citizens who express anything other than obedience to a single-party agenda.
Since the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) emerged as a serious policy proposal, the most eager proponent of the multi-state Carbon Tax on motor fuels has been Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Even as New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu called the scheme to raise prices on gasoline and diesel fuels by up to 17 cents per gallon (a de facto tax on New England and Mid-Atlantic state drivers of $5.6 billion annually) “… a financial boondoggle and the people of New Hampshire will never support it,” and other governors mumbled, shuffled, and stared at their toes about it, Baker remained stalwart. Until this week.