Legislative Update- April 19, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021
by: Matt Musgrave

Section: Legislative Update

As of Friday businesses, lobbyists and politicians alike are wondering the fate of bill H.315 which is intended to distribute COVID-19 financial relief to many sectors. The bill which includes $60 million of appropriations which Vermont has yet to receive from the Federal government includes an important provision linking up the 2020 tax year which includes not taxing companies who's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiven loans but omits 2021. 2021 was intentionally left out by the House and Senate which has led to public outcry from businesses all over Vermont who believed those forgiven loans would not be taxed as intended by the Federal government.

The PPP loans were intended to be a parallel system to the unemployment system to keep people working. PPP is originally issued as a loan but if an employer uses them for approved expenses such as payroll they will be forgiven as grants. This means that if an employer uses 100% of those funds that are forgiven they would be on the hook to reach into their pocket to pay the tax to Vermont. This is not the intent of the program and business groups of all kinds have formed a coalition opposing this taxation. The coalition which includes AGC/VT is working with politicians to convince them to add the tax exemption to financial bills working through the legislature now. We will continue to work towards a winning solution for businesses and will keep members up to date. Please consider contacting your representative or senator to tell them how you feel. You can find your local representatives by visiting the legislatures website by clicking here.

In other news it appears that the residential contractor registration bill H.157 has disappeared from the Senate calendar after passing out of the House. This may be due to Governor Scott urging the legislature to wait until in person meetings can resume to hear from more stakeholders who did not have an opportunity to weigh in.

AGC/VT testified this week in support of a workforce development bill in Senate Economic Development and will continue to work with the committee to find opportunities to channel people on unemployment, with barriers to employment or new Americans to get into the trades. AGC/VT also testified in front of Senate Transportation on the DMV miscellaneous bill which includes a section that would require VTRANS to study the automated license plate reading technology and produce a report with how and why they will be used. AGC/VT testified that the legislature should act immediately to either allow police to enforce laws withing the VTRANS specifications or used some sort of automated technology.

If you have any questions or comments please contact matt@agcvt.org.