Jobs in Vermont
We need jobs in Vermont so that we can earn the income that we need to support our families. To encourage job creation, we need to make it less expensive to do business in Vermont, and less difficult to get the approvals needed to conduct business in Vermont.
The Milken Institute of Santa Monica, California rates states on the cost of doing business. Vermont was ranked as the 8th most expensive state, largely because our tax burden is 73% above the national average. We have to reduce that burden. Vermont businesses are competing with businesses in other states, and can’t compete effectively with high tax costs. We’ll never be a low tax state. We care too much about helping our neighbors and maintaining our environment to be a cheap state. But we have to balance services and costs to bring our tax levels closer to the national average.
Going door to door in Shelburne, I’ve talked with a lot of people. Most of us are very worried about the economy. We’re tightening our belts at home, doing more with less, and we need to do the same in Montpelier.
I have experience with saving tax dollars. When I was Vermont’s Tax Commissioner, I downsized the Tax Department by 10% over three years, without layoffs, by streamlining processes and focusing on the most important tasks. We deposited tax checks faster and increased the collection of delinquent accounts despite reductions in staff. We need more of that analysis and work throughout state government.
Inadequate cell phone and internet services are big barriers to job creation. These services have been delayed in part because of difficult and multiple permit processes. I helped to craft legislation to simplify these processes, and we need to work to further reduce these barriers.