VT Gov. Phil Scott vetoes the state budget

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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed H.13; the budget bill.

On Thursday, a letter was sent to the Clerk of the Vermont House.

“Without a commitment from legislative leaders that we can achieve level property tax rates, or an amendment that would prevent the automatic 5.5 cent property tax rate increase on non-residential payers, I cannot support H.13,” Scott continued, “If the Legislature does not agree with my reasoning, the Constitution provides a mechanism – a veto override vote – to resolve the disagreement.”

He returned the bill without his signature.

The democratic-led legislature wants to use $34 million in one-time funds to meet future pension obligations, while Gov. Scott wants to off-set property tax rates.

Both sides have until July 1 to strike a deal, otherwise there will be a government shutdown.

State treasurer Beth Pearce spoke out, saying both sides must reach an agreement soon as the state’s credit rating hangs in the balance and there could be permanent costs.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe’s office released a list of services earlier Thursday, which would be affected by a shutdown; it included correctional services, public safety and transportation.

In an email, Ashe, along with Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson wrote, “Let us be clear about what the Governor vetoed today when he rejected H.13:

1. A budget supported by virtually every legislator including members of his own party

2. Approximately $30M in income tax reductions to avoid negative effects of the Trump tax plan

3. Significant reductions in the taxation of social security income

4. A level residential education tax rate

The Governor supports all four of these measures.
The bill would guarantee there will be no government shut down. It does not increase a single tax rate, nor does it include anything the Governor opposes.
The bill reflects movement by the Legislature toward the Governor, while the Governor has not made a single concession.
The Governor’s veto is disappointing. We expect more from the Governor.”

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