On March 25, 2010, the Vermont House of Representatives adopted a series of amendments to H.783, “An Act Relating to Miscellaneous Tax Provisions.” One of the amendments crafted by their Ways and Means Committee directed Vermont’s 6 percent sales tax to be applied to the sale of dietary supplements. Previously, supplements — like food — were exempt from the state’s sales tax.
The tax bill, which passed in the Vermont House, now awaits a vote in the State Senate Finance Committee this week. Wasting no time, local activists have let their legislators know that there will be a fight over implementing this new tax on dietary supplements. This past week, dozens of local organizations mobilized to defeat what they call the “vitamin tax.”
“Taxing dietary supplements is contrary to good public-health policy,” said Dolly Fleming, representing the Council of Vermont Elders. “The vitamin tax is a step backward in making healthcare more affordable,” said Jill Krowinski, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
The chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, Ann Cummings, apparently got the message and recently stated on local television that “there isn’t a lot of traction in my committee or the Senate for a vitamin tax.” Even Vermont’s Gov. Jim Douglas weighed in on the issue, saying he sees no logic in the proposal. “I don’t support any new taxes,” Douglas declared.
ANH-USA is working to make sure that Vermont’s legislators listen to their constituents and commonsense.