Vermont revenues buoyed by estate taxes

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont state revenues from income taxes have been down over the last few months, but the losses are being made up by unanticipated revenue from estate taxes, state officials said.

Eleven months into the fiscal year, personal income tax receipts are off about $17 million, or 3 percent of projections.

"We knew a year ago April that we had by far and away the largest personal income tax month for collections in the state’s history," Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said Monday. "And that had a lag effect that meant that the estimates for April 2014 did not materalize."

But he said gains in the estate tax are more than making up for the losses in the income tax because a small number of wealthy people died.

Spaulding told Vermont Public Radio (http://bit.ly/1uR4sjd ) that if the state makes its revenue goal for the fiscal year that ends June 30 it will be because of the estate tax receipts.

"It’s not something that you want to rely on; it’s a very, very unpredictable revenue source," he said. "But with the overestimates in the collections for personal income tax in April, we’re very fortunate that the estate tax is also, in this case, the reverse: bringing in unprecedented receipts for the state."

Vermont man drowns in Wrightsville Reservoir

MIDDLESEX (AP) -- Vermont State Police say a Montpelier man drowned at the Wrightsville Reservoir in Middlesex over the weekend.

Police say 41-year-old Jason S.


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Reed was pulled under water by the current near the waterfall at the base of the dam on Saturday.

Police say he and family members and friends had paddled up river in canoes where some members of the group started swimming in the basin below the waterfall.

Family members were able to pull Reed from the water. He was taken to Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, where he was pronounced dead. Shumlin signs toxic chemicals bill

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed a bill into law to protect children from exposure to toxic chemicals.

The law requires manufacturers to disclose if toxic chemicals that can cause harmful health effects are in products designed for children.

The measure adopts a list of 66 chemicals identified by Washington state as of concern and sets up a new working group to advise the health commissioner on possible additions to the list.

Backers argued that the federal government was lagging in such regulation, and that Vermont should join the handful of states that have been stepping in.

Shumlin said Tuesday that preventing potential exposure to toxic chemicals is the best way to protect adults, children, and the environment.