Vermont lawmakers are looking into why compost products are not exempt from state sales tax.
While commercial growers are able to get a sales tax exemption certificate on fertilizers, pesticides and other products, there has been confusion in the compost industry about why the exemption does not apply to them.
The House Agriculture Committee has been taking testimony on the issue with an eye on fixing the loophole.
"I get to tell my Vermont customers that they are especially privileged. As organic growers who have chosen organic strategies-- compost and compost-based potting soil for their growing-- they get to pay a tax that their competitors who use chemicals don't have to pay," said Karl Hammer of the Vermont Compost Company.
Hammer says he is facing a nearly $100,000 bill from the tax department for unpaid sales taxes.