Montpelier, Vt. – Phil Scott today issued the following statement on the Shumlin Administration’s updated revenue forecast and changing the way state government builds its budgets:
“The revenue forecast released today by the Shumlin Administration is unwelcome news, but not unexpected. The fact is, the majority controlling the Legislature passed the FY17 budget in May knowing full well there would be a deficit, even after raising $47 million in new taxes and fees.
“This repeated pattern of spending more than Vermonters can afford, raising taxes and acting surprised when we are faced with shortfalls year after year is a clear sign that Vermont’s system of budgeting is broken.
“In reality, the state’s revenue projections are hypotheticals. They are based on the best guess of the state’s economists. Instead of building budgets based on hypothetical, frequently inaccurate projections, we need to build state budgets off clear, verifiable economic data.
“That is why as Governor I will never propose, nor will I sign, a budget that grows faster than the underlying economy or wages in the previous year. Benchmarking our budgets to the previous years economic performance is the best way to ensure state government is helping Vermonters get ahead and keep more of what they earn, instead of taking more of what they are expected to earn.
“State government must also tighten its belt, modernize and where necessary restructure to provide better service at lower costs. Montpelier pays far too much attention to how to take in revenue in the form of taxes and fees and far too little to how to spend less and do more.
“Every single day, Vermonters make choices about how they spend their money – spending based on what they have, not what they think they might have; finding ways to save; and prioritizing what they ‘need’ vs. what they ‘want.’ It’s long past time for Montpelier to take the same approach.”
Listen, Learn, Lead: Meet Phil Scott
Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott has been a consistent voice of reason and common sense in Montpelier. As the only Republican elected to statewide office, Phil has shown determination and leadership in advocating for Vermonters and promoting policies and programs that benefit Vermont families and the economy. Read about Phil Scott’s plans at www.philscott.org