Lawmakers Consider Fee Increases for Vermonters

Published 04/23 2014 08:22PM

Updated 04/23 2014 08:47PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Funeral homes across Vermont carry a great responsibility to those who have lost a loved one. But it takes a license from the state in order to do it.

“Embalmers license, funeral directors license, removal personnel, establishment license and crematory license,” Vermont Funeral Director’s lobbyist Jim Johnston said.

To get a license they have to pay a state licensing fee and that cost is about to go up.

“It’s a couple thousand dollars. Some of the larger firms it’s several thousand dollars. And of course this just passed on to the consumer,” Johnston said.

Every year a third of the fees throughout state government are reassessed. This year that list includes funeral homes, nursing assistants, court filing, lottery ticket dispensers and many more.

Click here to see the full fee list.

According to the bill passed by the Vermont House the new fees would raise $897,427.

Wednesday the Senate finance committee took testimony as to why different fee increases were needed.

“This is to ensure that we can actually keep these sites open,” Noelle McKay, Commissioner of the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development, said.

McKay defended a proposed entrance fee increase to a couple of historical sites throughout the state in order to keep the books balanced and doors open.

All of the fees go to different state agencies but in some industries they feel they’re already being taxed enough.

“I’ve never heard of such an increase on any fee in the state of Vermont,” Jim Johnston said.

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