VOTE: Tax Changes (H.546) - March 22, 2024

The annual housekeeping bill for the Ways and Means Committee, H.546, reached the House floor on Friday. Chairwoman Kornheiser presented the bill to the House. She described the bill as “revenue neutral.”

The first few sections of the bill address technical fixes for property valuation and federal tax law linkups. Section Five would increase the income limit for the renter credit from 50% of the area median income to 65% of the area median income, which would enhance the value of the rental credit for 4,000 recipients and make the credit accessible to 3,000 more applicants.

NOTE: This is not actually revenue neutral as this takes funds away from property tax buy-downs. However, this is a helpful change for working class Vermonters.

Section six and seven eliminates the $15 late penalty fee for late property tax credit applications because that does not seem to modify behavior significantly.

Section ten extends the sunset on the fuel tax by five years. This tax applies to heating oil, propane, kerosene, dyed fuel, natural gas, coal, and electricity.

Section fourteen of the bill creates a Wealth Tax Commission to study the taxation of wealth and investment gains that currently “escape income taxation.” The Commission will work with tax attorneys, tax experts, and other states to develop a multi-state approach.

The bill passed on a voice vote.

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