Vermont Falls Eight Spots in COGD State Ranking
Vermont “celebrates” its Cost of Government Day six days after the national average on July 15. The Cost of Government Day report measures the calendar date by which the average American must work until they have paid off their share of spending and regulatory burdens at all levels of government - federal, state and local. Vermonters work longer than residents of 37 other states, amounting to 203 days.
Vermonters have faced one of the most substantial tax increases over the last ten years. Between the years 2003-2012 residents have seen their taxes increase cumulatively by $1.24 billion; that is, and increase of $1,991.61 for every man, woman and child. Residents of Vermont lose 10.2 percent of their income to state and local taxes every year- bearing the eighth highest tax burden in the nation. For FY2012 Governor Shumlin signed into law a budget increasing the “provider tax” on hospitals from 5.5 percent to 6 percent.
As the state enters the FY2013, Governor Shumlin and legislators face a $50 million budget gap. However, this has not stopped the team from signing into law a $5.01 billion budget that increases overall spending by 6.4 percent for the fiscal year. Part of the increase in spending comes from a $13.6 million pay increase for current state employees, while the federal government remains on a pay-freeze.
Simultaneous to spending increases, the Vermont House passed revenue legislation increasing taxes and fees for Vermonters. This year, there will be an increase for driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations as well as a one penny increase on statewide property taxes.
Vermont fell eight places in Cost of Government Day state rankings. Suffering from a $50 million budget gap and simultaneous spending increases and tax hikes, the state can only look forward to a more expensive Cost of Government Day next year.