NFIB Vermont Small Business Victories: January 2018

Date: February 05, 2018



Passed Estate Tax Reform

The legislature passed changes to Vermont’s estate tax law to the federal flat rate of 16% on taxable estate starting at $2.75 million and no longer taxes the first dollar ‑ only each dollar proceeding $2.75 million.


Defeated $6 Million Payroll Tax

The governor proposed a plan that would have implemented a .7% payroll tax on employers to fund increased payments to healthcare providers.


Healthcare – $2.2 Billion Payroll Tax Defeated

NFIB influenced Governor Shumlin to reverse course on a $2 billion tax increase- the largest in VT state history. It would have included a payroll tax as high as 15% (11% from the employer and 4% from the employee).


Defeated Dangerous Retaliation language in “Ban the Box”

To the opposition of NFIB/VT, the legislature passed “Ban the Box” legislation, but we were successful in defeating language in both the House and Senate that would have opened up the door to frivolous and expensive lawsuits against small business owners for their hiring choices on criminals.




Expansion of Mandated Leave ‑ Funded with a .141% Payroll Tax

The House of Representatives passed a bill in 2017 that expands the paid leave law and eliminates the small business exemption.  The Senate will consider this legislation during the 2018 legislative session. The proposal establishes a new insurance program that will allow for 6-weeks leave that replaces 80% of wages (up to $1,042/week).  NFIB/VT will continue to oppose this mandate.


Minimum Wage Increase to $15/hour

Current law will set the Vermont minimum wage to $10.50 effective January 2018 and continue to increase it annually based on increases in the Consumer Price Index.  A proposal in the legislature would accelerate increases so that the minimum wage reaches $15/hour by the year 2020.  NFIB/VT opposes this mandate.


Independent Contractor Clarification

This persistent challenge for Vermont’s small businesses will continue as the House Commerce Committee chose not to move on a proposal to clarify the definition, in fact, may have made matters worse had they proceeded with a draft under consideration in the Committee.  NFIB/VT has long advocated for clarification to eliminate confusion, so our members can comply with the law.  We’ll continue to work to remedy this situation.


Property Tax

Despite a decrease in Vermont’s student enrollment in recent years, both commercial property taxes (5%) and residential property taxes (4%) continue to increase. NFIB will continue to fight to reverse this trend.








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