Marron says Act 60 reform bill will lower taxes

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(Host) According to the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Stowe Representative Dick Marron, a new compromise Act 60 reform plan will lower the average property tax bill in Vermont by roughly 30%. The committee this week is working out the final details of its proposal.

The plan creates a two-tiered statewide property tax system. There will be one rate for residents that will be tied directly to a town’s spending on education and another fixed rate for all businesses and non residents. In addition, the plan increases the state sales tax from five to six percent, and expands the scope of the sales tax to include soda and beer.

Speaking last night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Representative Marron said all but a handful of towns will benefit from the new plan:

(Marron) “So it does provide property tax relief, it does it in a fair and equitable way. I think we totally meet the equity standards under Brigham – there isn’t any question about that. No one really has any reason to challenge this on an equity standpoint, and I think that’s why it’s beginning to get real strong bi-partisan support.”

(Host) Senate Finance Chair Ann Cummings says her panel will want to make some changes to the House plan. But Cummings says she supports the basic framework of the proposal:

(Cummings) “We look forward to receiving their plan in the final form and taking a look. But I think we’re really, we’re close. The devil is always in the detail, but I think this is working out exactly the way we hoped it would.”

(Host) The House Ways and Means Committee hopes to vote out a final plan by the end of the week.

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