Political and business leaders said the decision puts the online retail giant and small businesses on a level playing field.
Insiders say Ashe may become the bridge between a Republican governor, a Progressive, Democratic lieutenant governor and a Democratic majority Legislature.
Doug Hoffer: “This system, for a variety of reasons, doesn’t seem like it is properly monitored.”
Agency secretary can’t say how much the Jay Peak developers, who allegedly diverted $200 million in investor funds, owe in fees to the Vermont EB-5 Regional Center.
The latest incarnation of the bill, S.241, passed the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday on a vote of 7 to 4. Its final stop before a potential floor vote is House Appropriations.
A proposal before House Ways and Means would raise revenue by charging a fee on licenses to grow two marijuana plants at home.
The Ways and Means Committee wants to extend the program for three years at a time, have an independent party conduct an audit, and require greater legislative oversight.
Taxes and fees account for $38.7 million of the total; new revenues for the transportation fund come in at $9.6 million.
Some lawmakers raised concern that the changes to the system would shift a financial burden onto other, law-abiding drivers.
Lawmakers reject four Shumlin administration proposals and look to fund $10 million in base budget costs that were omitted from the governor’s budget.
A broad coalition of advocacy groups will lobby for a tax on carbon emissions in the upcoming legislative session. The tax would raise the price of gasoline and other fossil fuels, but most of the revenue would be offset by tax cuts and assistance to low-income Vermonters.
This year’s budget adjustments and next year’s budget will have to wait till the Legislature reconvenes in January, but the Shumlin administration plans to address current revenue shortfalls by cutting spending without legislative approval. State lawmakers are questioning whether the administration has the authority to do so.
Tax conferees used $5.79 million in new revenue to close the gap for Vermont’s $1.4 billion General Fund appropriations for fiscal year 2015.
The bill puts a new tax on e-cigarettes and increases taxes on snuff. In all, it raises $1.2 million in new revenues.