Vermont governor-elect is already getting pushback on budget

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Vermont’s Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott already is getting some pushback on his promises to hold budget growth to the previous year’s economic performance.

State Auditor Doug Hoffer, a Democrat-Progressive, questions whether Scott’s benchmarks account for growing tax revenues coming from the affluent and whether enough economic data will be in hand at the end of a calendar year to write a budget for the fiscal year that starts six months later.

Democratic Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tim Ashe is raising questions about whether tying the budget to a previous year’s economic activity might limit the flexibility needed to respond to changing economic conditions.

Scott’s chief of staff, Jason Gibbs, says there are no plans for changes in Vermont’s income tax rates on households making more than $300,000. He also says the budget cycle likely would include “a robust budget-adjustment process” in the off-year.

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