Quantcast

Vt. lawmakers fuel controversy with proposed tax on heat - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. lawmakers fuel controversy with proposed tax on heat

Posted: Updated:
MONTPELIER, Vt. -

As the bitter winter continues on, Vermonters continue to crank up the heat. The Committee on Natural Resources and Energy is proposing a bill to help low-income families keep that heat inside.

"You're talking not just about efficiency to reduce emission into the environment, but you're talking about human lives, you're talking about health and welfare and impact on the economy," said Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier.

The two-part bill focuses on providing weatherization for low-income families, as well as reducing Vermont's carbon footprint.

"The focus of the bill is efficiency-- it's thermal efficiency. It's providing more resources for low-income Vermonters because they are losing resources. If we don't do something, we are going to go backwards, not forward," Klein said.

However, this bill comes with a price-- a proposed 10- to 12-cents per gallon tax on heating oil. Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association argues this tax is not what the state needs.

"Any tax, whether you create an excise tax or carbon tax, any tax that is created on heating fuel is by its nature a regressive tax and it hurts low-income Vermonters more than upper income Vermonters," Cota said.

The committee says the tax will raise an estimated $16 million that will go to weatherizing low-income housing across the state. Klein says that the idea is to prevent fuel waste by heating homes more efficiently. Klein argues that Vermonters need to spend money for energy conservation. Cota disagrees and says the marketplace will do that, and since 1970 heating oil consumption has decreased over 60 percent.

The bill will tax an additional 1 percent on heating oil, electricity, dyed fuel, propane and natural gas.

Klein says his committee is also considering paying for weatherization by taxing break-open tickets and plastic water bottles. That heat tax bill could go before the full House by the end of the week.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.