By John McClaughry
A few days ago I received a copy of an email to a constituent from Rep. George Till, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. The committee is apparently discussing which if any of the recommendations of the Vermont Tax Structure Commission to enact.
One of that commission’s recommendations is to broaden the sales tax base by applying the tax rate to services other than health care. That, the commission says, would allow the sales tax rate to drop from the present 6 percent to down around 4 percent.
In his May 4 email, Rep. Till, D-Jericho, writes: “The whole point of this proposal [to broaden the base of the sales tax] is to lower the rate of the completely regressive sales tax by expanding sales tax to things like portfolio management, investment advice, tax preparation services, things that average Vermonters don’t use.”
I think Rep. Till would be startled to learn that quite a few of his average constituents use tax preparation services and investment advice, and almost all of them use plumbers, electricians, lawn mowers, auto mechanics, driveway plowers, computer techies, tailors, accountants, taxi drivers, lawyers, tutors, music teachers, delivery drivers, loggers, excavators , barbers, cosmetologists, manicurists, day care operators, babysitters, gravediggers, and as many as 140 more service occupations.
If you’re ready to pay taxes on those services, Rep. George Till is your voice in Montpelier.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.