PO Box 490, St. Albans Bay, VT 05481
Week 15 of the 2023 Legislative Session
As we headed into week 15 of the legislative session, the House Ways and Means committee was continuing its work on determining alternative funding mechanisms for the Senate passed child care proposal. The Senate has proposed eliminating last year’s child tax credit to help fund their expansion of child care subsidies and the implementation of a new parental leave program. Without acknowledging this proposed elimination of the tax, but seemingly rejecting it, the House Ways and Means committee reviewed a proposal that would keep the tax credit in place and add advanced quarterly pre-payments of 50 percent of the tax.
As a substitute to the child tax credit repeal, Ways and Means Chair Emily Kornheiser asked her committee to “pivot” to looking at taxation on services. One possibility that the committee considered is an amendment to S.93 that would remove the current sales tax exemption for all types of software accessed on the cloud, aka a Cloud Tax: Software as a Service (Saas), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Patrick Titterton, Joint Fiscal Office, testified that removal of the exemption would raise an estimated $18.4 million for the Education Fund, about half of what the child tax credit repeal would raise.
The committee is spending time to further review child care financing options, including consumption taxes.
The House General and Housing Committee took up the S.100, the housing bill as it passed out of the Senate. The committee has been told by Democratic leadership that they are to focus on housing-specific programs and will not be reviewing any provisions related to municipal zoning and Act 250. Any review of changes to state and municipal bylaws will be done in the House Energy and Environment Committee, a committee not known for being friendly to addressing Act 250 barriers.
S.100, the HOME Act, as it passed the Senate can be found here, a section summary can be found here.
The House Committee on General and Housing heard some initial testimony on and discussed H.132, a bill creating a “homeless bill of rights.” The bill adds “perceived housing status” to the list of immutable characteristics protected by law and sets forth that no law or ordinance should “penalize the individual engaging in harmless activities that are associated with homelessness.” Concerns in the past have centered on that the legislation making it more difficult to handle poor behavior in Vermont’s downtown areas, especially when that behavior might be attributed to a “perceived” status. It's anticipated that this legislation will be added to the HOME Act.
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