Revenue and Expenditures: 2. What Are Vermont Taxpayers Really Paying For?

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Given the importance of federal grants and service revenues to Vermont’s fiscal position, it is instructive to determine exactly what costs are funded by state taxes, as follows:

 

 

 

Source of Revenues, Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2016 ($ mm)

Department Total Expenditures Service Revenues Federal Grants Cost (surplus) to Vermont Taxpayer
Education 1,941.1 2.3 126.9 1,811.9
Human Services 2.411.4 27.9 1,493.6 889.9
Protection to Persons & Property 340.2 168.9 51.1 120.2
General Government 86.5 34.4 1.5 50.6
Transportation 430.2 119.2 281.0 30.0
Commerce & Community Development 53.5 2.7 23.5 27.3
Natural Resources 109.6 37.8 45.6 26.2
Interest Expense 18.4 1.2 17.2
Liquor Control 59.5 60.7 (1.2)
Labor 30.6 22.5 21.2 (13.1)
Lottery 97.7 124.3 (26.2)
Unemployment Compensation 69.4 143.6 1.1 (75.3)
Other 7.4 8.7 (1.3)
Total 5,655.5 753.0 2,046.6 2,855.9

Source: 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

So, of the total $3.1 billion of taxes raised by the State of Vermont in fiscal year 2016, 59% went to fund Education and 30% to fund Human Services. All the other departments were funded with only 11% of total state taxes.

If you think taxes need to be cut, Education and Human Services expenditures need to be tackled.

Other State Operations

There are some large state-owned operations that are not included in the audited financial statements of the primary government. These operations are separately financed without reliance on state tax revenues (although there are some subsidy payments included in the primary government financial statements).

The largest of these operations are the University of Vermont, Vermont State Colleges, the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. and the Vermont Housing Finance Authority.

In fiscal year 2016, total expenditures of all these “off-balance sheet” entities were just in excess of $ 1 billion.

 

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