Vermont Small Business Issues


  • Ban the BoxVermont is contemplating enacting legislation that would prohibit an employer from asking whether or not an applicant for employment had been convicted on job applications.

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  • State Budgeting - $130 Million Short for upcoming budget yearDue to unexpectedly low revenues, Gov. Shumlin and the Legislature will need to come up with $130 million in cuts, increased taxes or a combination of the two in order to balance this year’s budget.

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  • Health Care - $90 Million Payroll Tax & Increased Employer AssessmentGov. Shumlin proposes to raise $90 million via a .7% payroll tax so that his administration can lower health insurance premiums by 5% over what they would have otherwise increased.

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  • Mandated Paid LeaveThis issue is back with a vengeance in the 2015 legislative session; a couple of proposals have been introduced to mandate paid leave for full and part-time employees

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  • Employer Assessment – $18 MillionDespite promises that the burden of health insurance would be taken off the backs of small business owners, a quarterly tax payment for each FTE continues to be imposed on businesses with more than four employees who do not offer health insurance or who’s employees are on Medicaid. This tax equates to $18 million annually and is supposed to be for the purpose of paying for the operation of Vermont Health Connect (the health care exchange); yet the exchange was shut down in September of 2014. NFIB has vigorously opposed this tax and called for its repeal when the legislature repealed Catamount Health Plan.

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  • Property Tax - $62 Million IncreaseVermont’s commercial property tax rate went $1.44 to $1.515/$100 of value; which represents a 5% increase, and the residential property tax rate went from 94-cents to 98-cents/$100 of value; which represents a 4% increase. The statewide property tax has continued to increase despite Vermont’s decline in student enrollment.

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