Tax Relief

Vermont Home Committee Evaluations Tax Reduction Invoice | Vermont

(The Center Square) – Vermont residents could receive tax breaks in a number of specific circumstances if all components of a recently introduced bill are implemented.

State Rep. William Canfield, R-Fair Haven, is the sponsor of H.527, legislation that could change Vermont’s tax policy with credit for things like child care and dependents, student loans, and workers in labor-scarce industries.

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives this month and will then be sent to the Ways and Means Committee for scrutiny of various passages.

At the committee’s most recent meeting, lawmakers and civil servants combed through six components the 44-page bill.

A significant piece of legislation could remove a so-called alternative minimum tax for some of the state’s highest earners.

“It used to be a more effective tool to ensure that people who had many deductions from their income were still paying a minimum level of tax in Vermont,” said Rebecca Sameroff, deputy commissioner at the state Department of Taxes, of the original intent behind the alternative minimum taxation.

Sameroff said there have been a number of ancillary issues that have impacted the alternative minimum tax over time, including capital gains taxes and residents being able to take sizable medical deductions.

“These are people who are in a very specific mathematical situation,” Sameroff said.

State Rep. Carol Ode, D-Burlington, who serves on the Ways and Means Committee, said she wanted to hear more testimonies about the alternative minimum tax and how changes to it could affect the state more broadly.

“Another way of looking at it is that people with such high incomes choose Vermont to live, and that creates jobs and income taxes,” Ode said.

Rep. Janet Ancel, chair of the Ways and Means Committee, said she too would be interested in a deeper dive into the alternative minimum tax.

“I would find it helpful to see some more historical data on this,” Ancel said. “It’s a good discussion. But I admit I’m not convinced yet.”

Because of the way it’s tailored, Sameroff said the alternative minimum tax has a number of subtleties. She also questioned their effectiveness from a professional point of view.

“This is a very complex, complicated political mechanism,” Sameroff said. “I wonder if it’s worth the pressure.”

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