Lt. Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement on the House of Representatives’ passage of H.872, H.873 and H.875, the fee, tax and appropriations bills:
“I cannot support the budget passed today by the House of Representatives. If I had to vote on it, I would vote ‘No.’
“The new taxes and the budget approved by the House do not help hardworking Vermonters and Vermont businesses struggling with the crisis of affordability. Instead, it digs us even deeper into the economic hole created by seven fiscal years of unaffordable spending.
“Rather than holding the line on spending, or limiting spending growth to available revenue, the majority is once again poised to spend beyond our ability to pay by increasing taxes by $48 million. Revenue growth under the current tax system is expected to generate $33 million more next year than this year. Yet, it will cost more than $50 million next year to fund increases in state government alone.
“Budget growth must line up with economic growth. When the budget grows faster than the underlying economy, there’s a deficit. This has been the pattern for seven consecutive fiscal years. Then the budget deficit is ‘solved” by shifting more costs and a higher tax burden onto already struggling Vermonters. This is not a solution, nor what Vermonters asked for during the last election, and it’s not what legislators promised to do. Over the last six years the Legislature has raised more than half-a-billion dollars in new revenue and the cumulative impact is pulling our economy down, not lifting us up. Limiting state spending to the rate of economic and wage growth in the previous year is the responsible – and essential – approach to getting Vermont back on solid ground.”