Governor signs two bills to sales tax exempt some ag and timber products

Governor signs two bills to sales tax exempt some ag and timber products.
He said the bills highlight the state’s commitment to our agriculture sector and spurring economic growth for rural communities.
These bills create a new exemption from the Vermont sales and use tax for specific types of machinery and equipment used in timber cutting, timber removal, and the processing of timber or other solid wood forest products intended to be sold at retail.
H495 provides a necessary clarification to existing statute that dyed diesel is not subject to Vermont’s sales and use tax, and creates a Water Quality Assistance program to assist timber harvesters in remaining compliant with water quality requirements.
Language in the bills states that it (a) provides assistance "to contract applicators, nonprofit organizations, and farms to purchase or use innovative equipment that will aid in the reduction of surface runoff of agricultural wastes to State waters, improve water quality of State waters, reduce odors from manure application, separate phosphorus from manure, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce costs to farmers.
(b) The capital equipment assistance program is created in the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to provide farms, nonprofit organizations, and custom applicators in Vermont with State financial assistance for the purchase of new or innovative equipment to improve manure application, separation of phosphorus from manure, or nutrient management plan implementation.
(c) Assistance under this section shall in each fiscal year be allocated according to the following priorities and as further defined by the Secretary: (1) First priority shall be given to capital equipment to be used on farm sites that are serviced by custom applicators, phosphorus separation equipment providers, and nonprofit organizations and that are located in descending order within the boundaries of: (A) the Lake Champlain Basin; (B) the Lake Memphremagog Basin; (C) the Connecticut River Basin; and (D) the Hudson River Basin.
Several legislators, loggers, farmers, and industry stakeholders, including the Vermont Forest Products Association and Vermont Traditions Coalition came to show support for the positive impacts these bills will have on the rural economy.
“We appreciate the Governor’s leadership and the legislative support for this effort, and hope to build on it as we continue to work toward a sustainable, robust and modern forest economy that works for Vermont."
“I want to thank the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and all legislators who worked on these two bills.” Source: Governor 6.13.2017.

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