Kitty Toll has a proven track record supporting our area.
2018 Tax Policy
Every year, the Legislature must pass a bill making adjustments to the state property tax rates which provides financing for school budgets as voted on at town meetings across the state. In addition, this year the legislature quickly addressed the impact of the federal tax cuts which would have resulted in an additional $30 million in tax revenue coming from Vermont taxpayers.
The legislature made changes to simplify Vermont’s tax code and make the code fairer for low and middle-income taxpayers, working families and seniors. Highlights include:
- Expands the exemption of taxable social security benefits for single filers with less than $45,000 in adjusted gross income and married filers with less than $60,000 in adjusted gross income;
- Eliminates itemized deductions and creates a new Vermont standard deduction equal to $6,000 for single filers, $12,000 for married couples and $9,000 for heads of household;
- Creates a new Vermont personal exemption equal to $4,150 per exemption, an exemption which benefits families;
- Collapses top two income tax brackets and lowers all personal income tax rates by 0.2%;
- Expands the Vermont Earned Income Tax Credit from 32% of the Federal EITC to 36%;
- Creates a 5% tax credit on the value of charitable contributions up to $20,000;
- Creates a Vermont Tax Structures Commission and a Staff-to-Student Ratios Task Force.
- Expanded college scholarships for members of the Vermont National Guard;
- Addressed special education policies to better serve Vermont’s children requiring additional supports;
- Advanced legislation to address the sexual exploitation of students;
- Supported expanding early college opportunities for Vermont High School seniors at all Vermont State Colleges;
- Supported increasing initiatives to aspire more students to continue onto higher education;
- Worked to allocate funding to support Danville School’s International Baccalaureate training for educators;
- Supported full funding of the General Fund transfer to the Education Fund which directly supports our local schools.
- Supported establishing a universal meals pilot program to provide meals at no cost to Vermont students in under-served areas around the state. The expansion of this program ensures – more students eat nutritious complete school meals; students are no longer segregated by income – all students receive free meals; stigma in the cafeteria is eliminated.
- Voted against Act 46 and fought for changes negatively impacting our local schools.
Vermont’s Agricultural Sustainability
- Worked to expand the Working Lands Initiative to enhance agricultural ventures and create new jobs;
- Supported Farm to Plate and Farm to School Networks which promote Vermont’s local foods system;
- Ensured funding for Vermont’s Agricultural Fairs;
- Supported efforts to bring Vermont’s statewide water quality impairments back to acceptable standards.
Our 7th Generation Family Farm
Sustainable Budgeting – As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
- Worked to create a framework for sustainable budgeting;
- Helped to create a reserve to save for higher year payouts in state employee’s pay and Medicaid – the first time a reserve has been created for these additional expenses that occur every seven years;
- Worked to keep critical reserves at full statutory levels;
- Supported reducing appointed high-level positions by $1.1 million;
- Helped mandate one-time funds for one-time expenditures only;
- Supported setting aside $1.2 million for fiscal year 2017 for anticipated needs such as fuel assistance;
- Advocated for increased focus on program performance and results to assure Vermonters are receiving quality programs with fiscal responsibility.
Toll working on issues with the House Appropriations Committee
- Supported initiatives to improve health outcomes and reduce spending through Vermont’s Blueprint for Health for Vermonters with chronic illness including addiction;
- Supported increased access to drug treatment facilities;
- Voted to require an independent assessment of the Vermont Health Care Exchange to determine if it should continue or be replaced and to identify ways to reduce costs;
- Voted to strengthen Vermont’s primary care system by partially restoring Medicaid reimbursements;
- Supported ground-breaking legislation providing transparency in prescription drug pricing.
- Supported access to contraceptives.
Jobs and the Economy
- Supported the creation of the Enterprise Fund that was instrumental in bringing a Canadian firm and up to 75 new jobs to the area. Additionally this fund is anticipated to result in the start-up of a wood pellet plant in the Northeast Kingdom;
- Supported strengthening educational opportunities for Vermonters to secure good jobs and meet employers’ needs by expanding financial aid for First in Family Vermont students attending Vermont State Colleges.
- Supported continued funding for Vermont’s highly successful Farm-to-Plate Program. Since its establishment, the program has increased sales of Vermont’s farm products by 32% and increased employment in that sector by 11%;
- Supported the investment of up to 10% of the Vermont Training Program Funds for work-based learning programs for students to adequately align workforce skills with employment needs. Vermont, like New Hampshire and Maine, is facing workforce shortages as the number of retirees surpasses the number of new, younger workers hitting the market. In the past two years, Vermont’s available workforce has declined by 1.2% – or 4,150 available workers. During the same period, we increased the number of jobs at a rate of 2.3% – or approximately 7,100 new jobs.
- Supported extending the first time homebuyers tax credit, passed in 2015, until 2022 – a robust Economic Development Bill that created a first-time homebuyer down payment assistance program that provides up to $5000 to Vermonters in the form of a 0% interest rate loan, to be repaid to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency when the main mortgage is refinanced or the home is sold. In the first six months of the program, 72 loans were financed. The average age of the new homeowners is 31 years with an average income of the buyers being $63,600.
- Supported expanding the amount Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) can transfer from the Vermont Jobs Fund to the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC). VACC provides farm loans to strengthen existing farm operations, encourage diversification, support beginning farmers and to encourage marketing and processing of Vermont agricultural products – and now includes forestry products and forestry businesses.
I will continue to work hard to strengthen our communities, support the creation of 21st century jobs, enhance educational opportunities, and protect Vermont’s natural landscape, with an eye on affordably and the future.