Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, has often repeated a pledge to balance the state budget without raising any broad-based taxes. But right now lawmakers are considering increasing the statewide education property tax by 5 cents and creating a new sales tax on gasoline.
The governor defended the gas tax hike as necessary to close a shortfall in transportation funding and secure matching funds from the feds.
Reporter Matt Henson: Would you say that's a broad-based tax?
Gov. Peter Shumlin: I would say we are re-grabbing... we are re-focusing and... We're finding a better way to take in transportation dollars that we've been losing over the last several years because we're driving less miles.
Reporter: But it's affecting all Vermonters.
Shumlin: You can call it whatever you want. Of course, it's affecting all Vermonters. Do any of us want to do it? No.
The governor also asserted that the change in the statewide property tax rate cannot be called a broad-based tax increase, because the full tax is dependent on spending decisions made at the local level.