Revenue Report Shows Signs Of Recovery

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(Host) There are more signs that the Vermont economy is pulling out of its long recession.

Personal and corporate income tax revenues are up significantly from a year ago, and the state could end the fiscal year in June with a small surplus.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) If you want to realize the huge impact that the recession has had on the Vermont economy consider this:  it’s taken five years for General Fund revenues to bounce back to their 2007 fiscal year levels.  

And during these years, it took an infusion of more than $800 million in federal stimulus money to prevent draconian cuts in the state budget.

April is an important month for state revenues because of the huge number of personal income tax returns that are filed and Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says the new revenue report is promising:

(Spaulding) "Revenues for FY ’11 for the first ten months are above 10 percent more than they were for the previous year so that’s a good sign and overall right now we’re about $12 million ahead of our target for this fiscal year in the General Fund and that’s a good thing."

(Kinzel) Spaulding says corporate income tax revenues are bouncing back and the state’s unemployment rate is well below the national average:

(Spaulding) "The combination of the corporate returns and the income tax do mean we are experiencing positive job growth and good profitability at the corporate level."

(Kinzel) Spaulding says he remains cautious about the future because there are many factors outside of the state’s control that can have a major impact on Vermont economy:

(Spaulding) "Our economy is closely linked with events that happen beyond our borders so if we have turmoil in the Middle East or adverse impact from weather or even dampening from federal cutbacks that could affect our economic recovery and our revenues."

(Kinzel) Spaulding says revenues for the gas tax are running slightly below projections because of recent increases in the price of gas and diesel fuel.

For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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