(The Center Square) – Legislation pertaining to establishing education benefits for members of the military and tax relief are part of a number of bills signed by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott.
The governor announced he has signed House Bill 517, which provides educational benefits to military families, and House Bill 510, which extends tax relief to Vermonters.
House Bill 510 provides for tax credits and tax refunds to state residents.
“Tax relief has always been my priority, but instead I’ve had to resort to preventing efforts to raise taxes over the last six years, so I’m encouraged the Legislature agreed with me this session that Vermonters need a break,” Scott said in a release. “Although the proposals I put forward would have helped a broader cross section of taxpayers, such as working families, low-income households, seniors on fixed incomes and students, while also helping to recruit and retain needed workers, and more, this bill is a step in the right direction. As governor, I will continue to push for broader tax relief in the future, while pushing back against attempts to increase the already high cost of living in Vermont.”
According to the fiscal note, which was written May 19 and attached from the bill, it provides for changes when calculating personal income tax, the Affordable Housing tax credit, and fees paid to the Department of Financial Regulation.
The bill creates a new refundable tax credit for families who have young children, which is equal to $1,000 per child ages 5 and under. The credit, which can be claimed by married and single taxpayers, is phased out beginning with an adjusted gross income of $125,000 and eliminated for those earning more than $175,000.
According to the note, the threshold for the state’s existing child and dependent care tax credit is pushed to 72% of the federal equivalent, which makes the tax completely refundable. In addition, the Earned Income Tax Credit is set to 38% of the federal credit. Plus, single taxpayers will be able to claim the Vermont Student Loan Interest deduction for those making less than $120,000, and married taxpayers earning less than $200,000.
With the bills becoming law, according to the fiscal note, that general fund will be negatively impacted by $37.97 million in fiscal year 2023 and $36.9 million in fiscal year 2024.
House Bill 517 sets up military members and their families to receive educational benefits, in addition to eligibility for being elected to serve as Adjutant and Inspector General.
“Whenever we have the opportunity to support those who devote themselves to protecting our state and nation, we should take it,” Scott said in the release. “This bill takes important steps to benefit members of our National Guard, building on progress we made several years ago, while also helping their family members. Increasing and extending the National Guard Tuition Benefit Program will bolster recruitment efforts and make Vermont a more attractive place for those seeking to serve Vermont and their country.”