by Guy Page
A pair of Vermont petitions in support of two popular ‘conservative’ themes – school choice and low taxes – are gathering support.
The push for a ‘Cloud Tax’ by the Vermont Democratic House majority has prompted the VT GOP to pushing a petition to stop the proposed expansion of the sales tax to services. As of last night, the petition was just a few signatures short of 1000.
About 1000 Vermonters have signed the petition to not “expand the sales tax on services like haircuts, auto repairs, home improvements, even day care and tuition payments,” according to the Vermont GOP. “A service tax essentially means a tax on labor. Anyone who provides their labor is now going to need to collect and pay a new tax to the State. Anyone who owns their own barber shop, house cleaning service, lawn care or snow plowing – even babysitters and other child care professionals will now have to begin calculating and applying the tax to their service, and passing it on to every one of their customers.”
The idea for a service tax resurfaced in January, when proposed by the Vermont Tax Commission. Recently, the House passed S53, originally a tax exemption on feminine hygiene products, with an amendment to add taxes including a Cloud tax on online services including Hulu, Netflix, Pandora. The bill is back in the Senate for consideration of the House’s changes.
Meanwhile, 103 people have signed an Essex chool choice petition launched during school choice advocate Elizabeth Cady’s successful campaign to win a three year school board seat. The petition reads in part:
“Receiving taxes at one of the highest rates in the United States, Vermont’s public schools should be some of the best. However, this past year has seen the majority of children denied access to attend public school, lack of teachers in the public school classrooms, and the job of education given to parents trying to balance earning an income while still ensuring their children learn. Meanwhile, our private schools continue to open their doors each and every day to their students, educating their pupils to the fullest potential. Wouldn’t it be nice if those education dollars came with a choice to parents?”
The call for school choice has been well-received by some Essex conservatives. “It’s time for school choice,” 2020 legislative candidate Maryse Dunbar said. “Parents have the right to know HOW their children are educated. Teaching Socialist agendas to our children is not acceptable! Restore roots and education which made our country great.”
“Parents voices are not being heard or respected,” Christine Stone said. “I want my child to learn important skills like math and science and history. I do not believe it is the schools job to create activists.”