Budget

Possibilities with regard to the State budget will depend on who is in the Governor’s office and/or whether both chambers can garner enough override votes. Given the current economic outlook, Vermont will likely need to either reduce spending or find new revenue sources.

I have mentioned in other forums the need to audit the long list of reports that are generated for the Legislature and weed out those that are not needed or used. This likely amounts to a very small drop in the bucket. Looking for other places to trim could add up a bit more but nowhere near enough to make a big difference.

One idea may be to look at who wasn’t financially impacted by COVID as a means to draw a line for a temporary tax increase. I know that once a tax is in place it is hard to let it go but I also know that the time to cut taxes is when things are good not when they are bad. Presumably, when the recovery begins, a temporary tax can be rolled back incrementally to keep revenues neutral until everyone is back where they were.

The flip side to this is that during the next boom, instead of increasing spending to match revenues, Vermont should show some restraint and cut taxes to give at least some of the windfall back to taxpayers.

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