As a first step to developing this study, the Joint Fiscal Office staff conducted a series of informal discussions with parties who had expressed interest in the tax study, or who we felt would contribute expertise to the report.
These interviews included: Steve Jeffrey, Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT); Bill Sorrell, Ed Haase and Tom Pelham, Administration; Jim Keefer, Department of Public Service (expert in regional economic modeling); Wayne Granquist and Gordon MacFarland, Vermont Economic Progress Council; Bob Clarke, Vermont Technical College; Gloria Hobson, George Phillips, and Bob Gross, Vermont Tax Department; Chris Barbieri, Chamber of Commerce; Scott Mackey and Corina Eckl, National Conference of State Legislatures (Denver); Dinah Yessne, Low Income Advocacy Council; and Tom Serrani, Associated General Contractors; and Associated Industries of Vermont (AIV).
One of the common threads that emerged during our study interviews was a desire for the Joint Fiscal Office to conduct the study in-house. Accordingly, while we hired assistance to help with study research requirements, Joint Fiscal and Legislative Council staff worked directly on the study. These staff included: Catherine Benham, Stephen Klein, Doug Williams, and Sandra Noyes (Joint Fiscal Office staff), and Emily Tartter (Legislative Council). Eliza Barry, a recent graduate of Dartmouth College, and Thomas Ciaraldi, CPA, of Stowe, provided extensive research support assistance.
A number of other people also contributed their expertise during the review phase of the study. We very much appreciate their suggestions and have attempted to include these, where possible, in the final report.