EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

This study was authorized by Section 314 of Act 178 of 1996 (the "Appropriations Act"). It was designed to provide a base of information to aid policy deliberations. Volume I of the report looks at historical trends in Vermont revenues and compares Vermont’s tax rates and revenues to the 50 states, and more specifically, to 11 of the 15 comparison states chosen by the 1993 Vermont Business Roundtable study, Working Paper - A Critical Look at Vermont’s Economy: Past, Present and Future. Volume II focuses on the actual taxes paid by 20 individuals and 10 businesses in each of the comparison states.

Below are key findings of Volume I:

Specific taxes:

During research for the report, a number of questions arose that exceeded the scope of this study. Questions about Vermont’s revenue sources continually arise throughout the Legislative and Executive branches. Vermont is one of few states without a permanent tax research component in its Tax Department. We recommend that one be established. We also suggest that if the Legislature goes forward with additional research, it should establish clear direction as to tax system goals and objectives or provide for an oversight committee to set policy directions during the course of the study.