Published by Vermont Public Radio, March 27, 2017, written by Mitch Wertlieb and Peter Hirschfeld:
The House Committee on Appropriations is expected to vote out its version of the fiscal year 2018 state budget Monday. Here are some takeaways about the state budget as it stands.
How did the House Committee on Appropriations close this year’s $70 million budget gap?
Balancing the state budget is a difficult in any year, but the House had a particularly steep climb — closing a $70 million gap — and they chose to do so without relying on new taxes or fees.
It’s worth mentioning that there is one caveat to this no-new-revenues framework the House used to put this budget together: They’re counting on about $5 million in increased revenue next year, but they say they’re going to get it by increasing compliance with existing tax code, and making sure people pay the taxes they already owe.
This is a very different approach than the one used in the past five years or so, when perennial tax bills that raised anywhere between $10 million and $30 million in new revenues to solve the state’s budget gap.
House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says there are there a number of reasons for doing this…..