Proposed two-cent hike in heating fuel is back – along with four-cent gasoline "fee"

by Guy Page

January 14, 2020 – A bill to double the home heating fuel tax and add four cents to the cost of gasoline and other transportation fuel was introduced into the Vermont Legislature today.

H657, sponsored by Climate Solutions Caucus Rep. Mike Yantachka (D-Charlotte), would increase both the cost of home heating fuel and the cost of gasoline.

Revenue from the two cent increase in the home heating fuel (now two cents) would fund home weatherization. This part is similar to a bill that passed the House last year but was not taken up by the Senate, in part due to a furious floor battle waged by opponents who said the tax would hurt poor rural people most.

The bill also would add four cents in what it calls a “fee” on the sale of gasoline and other transportation fuel. Revenue would go into the Transportation Fund, where half would fund electric vehicle incentives, and the other half would go into the Town Highway Fund.

The transportation fuel “fee” would be repealed in Vermont joins the Transportation and Climate Initiative, the bill proposes. The bill was sent to the House Transportation Committee.