The Vermont Senate Finance Committee OKed an amendment to S.100, an omnibus housing bill, which puts a $2 per night tax on hotels, motels, and airbnbs. The occupancy fee was a high priority of both the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Shumlin Administration’s Poverty Council.
This fee has the potential to raise more than $7.2 million annually in Vermont, $2.5 million of which would be used by the Vermont Housing Conservation Board to make payments on the $35 million housing bond that Scott proposed in his budget. Remaining funds would be allocated towards cleaning up Lake Champlain.
This fee was passed despite repeated warnings from the governor stating he would veto any budget that would raise fees or taxes. Currently, House Appropriations is considering cuts in various sectors in order to balance to budget including authorizing $2.5 million in cuts from the the Agency of Human Services grant program, which distributes more than $100 million a year to 1,200 nonprofits around the state.
Read the administration’s statement here.
Read more on the Occupancy Fee here.
Read more from on the legislature’s efforts to finalize the budget here.
[This post was corrected from an earlier version.]