Concerns Remain That Childcare Bill Will Not Meet Workforce Needs

The House Ways and Means Committee continued to take testimony on childcare legislation that would raise $100 million in taxes to almost double spending for the childcare industry without any assured fixes for the availability, affordability, and dependability of childcare for Vermonter’s workers. While the bill offers relief to the highest and lowest-income Vermonters, the Vermont Chamber remains concerned that the needs of middle-income Vermonters will not be met. The Commissioner of Taxes, Craig Bolio, testified that Vermonters currently pay 13.6% of their income in state and local taxes, which is higher than any other state except New York, Connecticut, and Hawaii. The Commissioner also noted that this year, Vermont taxpayers are expected to pay over $80 million in property tax increases, and the Legislature is considering over $285 million in additional taxes. The combined $365 million tax increase is more than two times the projected General Fund revenue drop from FY23 to FY24.  

A SALT deduction that would save Vermont companies $20 million in federal taxes was added to the bill. This is a measure supported by the Vermont Chamber, but it does not do enough to outweigh the full impacts that middle-income earners and small businesses will feel from these tax impacts.