Vt. Senate prepares to move forward with tax plan - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. Senate prepares to move forward with tax plan

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The Vermont Senate is prepared to move forward with a tax plan that raises $17 million less than a plan passed by the House.

Senate Finance Committee chair Tim Ashe says their goal is to raise the minimum amount of money necessary to meet spending.

The governor has panned both the House and the Senate's plans, though the Senate's version largely avoids raising broad-based taxes. Instead, the plan focuses on shifting deduction and exemptions, most notably limiting the mortgage interest deduction and creating a minimum state tax liability for those with federal adjusted incomes greater than $125,000. Those two moves raise a cumulative $7.5 million.

The Senate committee also plans to raise an additional $1.2 million by including bottled water in the sales tax.

Another half-million would be raised by eliminating the higher education tax credit for families earning more than $150,000 a year.

The Senate is moving forward with the governor's suggestion of taxing break-open tickets. However, while the governor planned to raise $17 million by doing so, the Senate only plans on imposing a minimal rate on tickets sold at bars, estimated to bring in about $400,000.

A proposed satellite tax shouldn't raise the bills for consumers, but would raise $1.3 million.

The committee could not agree on a cloud tax.

A proposal to raise the cigarette tax by about $1.25 has been sent to the Health Committee for separate consideration.

The full Senate is expected to agree to the bill, and a conference committee will be needed to sort out the differences between the House and Senate plans.

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