Wednesday April 24, 2013

Proposal in Congress could mean $20M for Vt.

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Proposals being considered by Congress to require Internet retailers to charge state sales taxes could mean at least $20 million a year in revenue for the state of Vermont.

Currently, Internet retailers don’t have to impose a state sales tax unless the company has a physical presence in Vermont.

Many small retailers have complained that this gives the Internet retailers an unfair price advantage and state officials are upset because they lose sales tax revenue.

The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the proposal this week.

Vermont’s lone U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat, co-sponsor of a bill being considered in the House, said he’s hopeful Congress is ready to move on the issue.

"If we get a successful vote in the Senate, this is going to put a lot of wind at our back," said Welch. "The bottom line here is that Republicans and Democrats all represent downtown areas where their local retailers, the bookstores, the sporting good folks the people who really anchor downtown business are at this immense competitive disadvantage with the e-retailers."

Vermont Tax Commissioner Mary Peterson told Vermont Public Radio people who purchase items from e-retailers are supposed to pay the state sales tax, but they rarely do.

Burgess to retire from Vt. Supreme Court

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Justice Brian L. Burgess is retiring from the Vermont Supreme Court.

Burgess announced Tuesday that he will step down on Aug. 1.

Burgess, a former trial court judge and assistant attorney general, was appointed associate justice to the Vermont Supreme Court in 2005.

Chief Justice Paul Reiber says Justice Burgess is a friend and respected colleague who will be missed, not only for his intellect and common sense, but also for his thoughtful, deliberative approach to decision-making and his wry sense of humor.