Pandemic cash, pot expected to pad Vt. economy in coming years

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File photo(Courtesy: Chantel Crawford)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 3:53 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Federal pandemic relief cash is still driving Vermont tax revenues but that momentum will begin to slow down next year, Vermont economists told the Vermont E-Board Thursday

Vermont’s General Fund is expected to swell with a $44 million increase next year, and in the following years, marijuana tax revenues are also slated to give it a boost. But in five years, when the state economy must once again stand on its own, the fund is expected to decline by as much as $27 million.

Vt. administration economist Jeff Carr told the board he worries about the continuing chronic workforce shortage. “When one hand is in hot water and the other hand is in ice water everything may seek okay but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things going on beneath the surface that don’t require attention and that we should lose sight of,” he said.

“There’s a great deal of uncertainty both with the way that stimulus changes over time and of course, the pandemic,” said Tom Kavet, the Vt. legislative economist.

Both economists say rising interest rates, inflation, and labor shortages also cloud economic predictability. Thursday’s economic projections will be used by lawmakers when making decisions in the coming months.

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