MONTPELIER – Tax income in Vermont is down. As residents turn to electric cars, gas tax revenue is beginning to decline. Reduce, reuse, recycle campaigns have caused some Vermonters to actually purchase fewer items, leading to lower sales tax revenues. Even standard taxes that apply to all residents are seeing sharp drops as population begins to shrink. Although he has promised no new taxes, Gov. Scott has plans to encourage more Vermonters to make use of the taxes already in place by launching his “Make Vermont Fun Again” campaign.
The MVFA campaign, pronounced “muvva,” focuses on highlighting the taxes in place on alcohol, tobacco, and lottery purchases. Currently the tax on tobacco is $2.57/oz, with a single pack of 20 cigarettes bring in $3.08. Alcohol is taxed at $.55/gallon, and lottery tickets are effectively a 100% tax except for the lucky few.
“Let’s get this MVFA started!” shouted Gov. Scott at a press conference announcing the campaign. “This is going to be way better than that telecommuter thing.” With posters behind him reading “I Can Smoke If I Want – It’s A Free Country” and “It’s 5:00 Somewhere,” he spoke excitedly about the revenue potential.
“Look, there’s no harm in having a little fun. Even Zuck and the other boys in the capital like to play a few hands of poker from time to time. Nothing wrong with buying a few cigars locally here in Vermont, having a few drinks, and buying dozens of lottery tickets. At least until regular gambling is legal here. I’m not saying I definitely have a proposal for that in the pipeline, but it would make a certain amount of fiscal sense, when you think about it. We have to do something to offset the dangerous new
ecologically conscious lifestyles being adopted by so many Vermonters.”
The campaign will launch statewide next week, with posters, internet ads, and even radio spots. The first spot will feature the governor, and starting with the line “Hi. I’m Vermont Governor Phil Scott, and I’m here to talk about taxes. Now doesn’t that make you feel like having a stiff drink?”
Image Credits: VTDigger.