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H.685

Introduced by Representatives Mazur of South Burlington, Houston of Ferrisburgh, Angell of Randolph, Barney of Highgate, Blanchard of Essex, Bourdeau of Hyde Park, Brunelle of Winooski, Buckland of Newport Town, Clark of St. Johnsbury, Dominick of Starksboro, Dwyer of Thetford, Flaherty of South Burlington, Freed of Dorset, Gervais of Enosburg, Ginevan of Middlebury, Gray of Barre Town, Gretkowski of Burlington, Hoag of Woodford, Holmes of Bethel, Howrigan of Fairfield, Johnson of Canaan, Kendall of Woodstock, LaBarge of Grand Isle, Larrabee of Danville, Lindgren of Springfield, Marron of Stowe, McGrath of Ferrisburgh, Morrissey of Bennington, Peaslee of Guildhall, Ranney of Castleton, Richardson of Weathersfield, Schiavone of Shelburne, Sheltra of Derby, Steele of Waterbury, Suchmann of Chester, Voyer of Morristown, Walker of Brownington, Willett of St. Albans City, Winters of Williamstown and Young of Orwell

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject: Legislature; tax increases; supermajority vote

Statement of purpose: This bill would require that no tax or license fee may be imposed or levied except by an act of the legislature adopted with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of each house.

AN ACT RELATING TO A SUPERMAJORITY VOTE OF THE LEGISLATURE TO ENACT TAX INCREASES

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 2 V.S.A. § 23 is added to read:

§ 23. TAX INCREASES; SUPERMAJORITY VOTE REQUIRED

(a) No tax or license fee may be imposed or levied except pursuant to an act of the general assembly adopted with the concurrence of two-thirds of all members of each house.

(b) The effective rate of any tax levied or license fee imposed may not be increased except pursuant to an act of the general assembly adopted with the concurrence of

two-thirds of all members of each house.

(c) Exemption to meet state obligations. Prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, the general assembly shall appropriate revenues to pay interest on its debt to which it has pledged its faith and credit and which interest is payable in the year for which such appropriation is made and to pay the principal of such debt, payable in such year, whether at maturity or otherwise. To the extent that insufficient revenues are provided to pay the principal and interest on such debt when due and payable, the first monies thereafter received by the state shall be set aside and applied to the payment of the principal and the interest on such debt. To make up for such insufficient revenues, the general assembly

may increase the rate of taxes and fees without regard to the limitations of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, after the failure to pay when due the principal and interest on such debt.

Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage and apply to any act of the General Assembly enacted thereafter. It shall not apply to any tax or fee increase authorized by an act of the General Assembly enacted prior to the effective date of this act, but which has not taken full effect upon the effective date of this act.