Vermont Fair Tax Coalition
VNRC and its Coalition partners Friends of the Earth, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and Vermont Public Interest Research Group have been working since 1998 to promote tax policy reforms that create incentives for environmental protection. This includes environmental tax shifting, eliminating subsidies that harm the environment, and promoting green economics in Vermont.
Using a combination of research, education, organizing, and advocacy, the Coalition will seek policy reforms that could combat sprawl, reduce water pollution, and improve prospects for renewable energy.
The Coalition will continue to press for increased tax incentives and state investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. VFTC will focus on: renewable portfolio standards for utilities; a strong 20-year comprehensive electric plan that encourages renewables and efficiency; a state procurement policy for renewable energy; energy efficient building standards; appliance efficiency standards; a fee-bate system for automobile efficiency; leases on state land to wind developers where appropriate; exemption for wind power from property taxes; and increased tax rebates for installation of small wind and solar generators.
VFTC will encourage a strong state financial and tax incentive commitment to cleaning up agricultural runoff and stormwater going into Lake Champlain and other waters of the state. Our work will include follow-up work on the elimination of the pesticide tax exemption, and participation in efforts to implement the Governor’s Clean and Clear Water Initiative. The latter initiative seeks to raise $14 million through a variety of creative financing options, including private fund raising. The money would be used to finance phosphorus reduction through manure storage facilities, riparian buffers, and other best management practices.
Sustainable Land Use
The VFTC will focus its efforts on tax incentives to complement land use policies that reinvigorate community centers and help fight sprawl. The Coalition will work to improve, and educate policy makers on, new downtown and growth center fiscal policy, property transfer tax programs, the current use tax program, statewide property tax, and cumulative fiscal/environmental impacts in development review.
The VFTC is also preparing an update to its 1999 report Tax Reform That Agrees with Vermont. Publication is set for early 2005.