Vermont’s Senate Finance Committee is looking to overhaul the state’s tax system to close a large budget gap, and that includes making changes to how vending machine sales are taxed. WPTZ reports that beginning in July vending machine sales could be subject to the state’s 9 percent meals tax if H.489 passes.
A public hearing on the tax drew a crowd on Monday, according to the source, including industry member Brent Farrell of Vitality Vending located in Essex Junction, VT. “I absolutely oppose this bill and the way it is written,” Farrell told VendingMarketWatch. “I appreciate the challenge of the state needing to close the budget gap, but it’s targeting vending unfairly.” He continued, “I can live with a tax on products across all retail segments because then the price would go up everywhere, but right now they are taxing the method of purchase, not the product.”
The proposed tax comes on top of a sugar sweetened beverage tax that was introduced earlier this year. In April Vermont’s House Ways and Means Committee approved a tax package that includes a half-cent per ounce tax on sweetened beverages.
The committee’s proposal comes from its need to raise $35 million in new revenue to close a $118 million budget gap this year, WPTZ reports.