Wed, Feb 1, 2012 08:28 AM
S. 250, the Irene Economic Stimulus Bill, directs tax relief and
incentives both to Vermont consumers as a whole, and to populations
disproportionately impacted by the storm. Bill S. 250 would
establish a sales tax holiday on Aug. 28, 2012, the 1-year
anniversary of Irene, to encourage Vermonters to shop locally and
support the state's economy. The proposal also sets up a weeklong
sales tax holiday, from August 26 to September 1, for the purchase
of home weatherization items.
Finally, it declares a sales tax holiday on mobile homes purchased
between August 28, 2011 and June 30, 2012, to replace mobile homes
damaged or destroyed as a result of Irene. The proposal would waive
or refund sales tax or property transfer tax, either of which can
be applicable to mobile home purchases.
"Vermont's recovery from Irene is an ongoing process," Lt. Governor
Phil Scott said, "and this proposal offers several paths forward.
It provides a savings on the materials needed for home repairs and
an incentive for property owners to make their homes more
energy-efficient. It also encourages Vermonters to mark the
anniversary of Irene in a positive way, by supporting local
A "tax-free home improvement day" was one of the recommendations
offered in the final report of the Post-Irene Property Law Task
Force, which Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell organized
to address the many issues facing homeowners after the flood.
"Irene hit us hard at a time when many Vermonters were already
hard-hit by the recession," said Campbell, who led the charge in
securing bi-partisan support for the proposal in the Senate. "My
task force highlighted the fact that a lot of Vermont homeowners
faced unexpected repair costs after the storm. This bill will help
ease some of those burdens."
The tax relief provision for mobile home purchases was particularly
important to Lt. Governor Scott, who organized a team this fall to
help mobile home owners dismantle and dispose of their
flood-damaged homes. "I didn't think it was fair that these folks
had to pay taxes on a purchase they wouldn't otherwise have made,
had they not lost their homes - and most of their possessions -- in
the flood," Scott said.
Jim and Dan Fecteau, owners of Fecteau Homes in Berlin, agreed. "We
worked with a lot of Central Vermont mobile home owners this fall.
These families were overwhelmed with stress and loss, and it seemed
like the property transfer tax bill added insult to injury," Jim
The proposal was introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore John
Campbell; Senate Majority Leader Bill Carris and Assistant Majority
Leader Dick Mazza; and Senate Minority Leader Bill Doyle and
Assistant Minority Leader Kevin Mullin. The bill was originally
conceived by Lt. Governor Phil Scott.
After its introduction today, S. 250 was referred to the Senate
Finance Committee for consideration.