Vermont leaders try to pinpoint impacts of federal tax reform plans

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With tax reform looming in Washington, state officials in Vermont are trying to pinpoint the potential impacts it may have.

“With all of these changes, you’ve got some gives and some takes,” said Kaj Samsom, tax commissioner.

House and senate republicans have been working towards simplifying the United States tax code and cutting corporate taxes. While individual taxpayers would see more standard deductions and child tax credits.

Samsom said, “Federal taxable income will go up a little bit but because rates are going down and child tax credits are going up, it really looks like Vermonters will have more take-home pay.”

That’s on the federal side; Samsom says Vermont’s tax calculation is linked to federal taxable income.

“In either the house or senate bill, the lower rates don’t affect us, doubling the child tax credit doesn’t affect Vermont,” explained Samsom.

Critics of the republican-led efforts point to both plans increasing the deficit by more than a trillion dollars.

Governor Phil Scott said as a fiscal conservative, the proposals concern him, “I’m just concerned about any future debt that we may have and in a relatively short period of time, ten years.”

Scott said he’s also disappointed that lawmakers were unable to work across the aisle, “Having the middle class keep more of what they earn is important, it’s just unfortunate when there is so much polarization in Washington.”

Samsom says the plans continue to evolve which means he and his office will keep crunching the numbers in the coming days.

Both bills sit in conference committees. Senator Bernie Sanders was appointed to the senate’s committee on Thursday. Sanders, I- Vermont has been opposed to the plans calling them a “tax break for billionaires”.

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