MONTPELIER — The Vermont House voted yesterday to delay a scheduled tax cut for manufacturers and to apply the state sales tax for the first time to dietary supplements.
The tax changes, crafted by the House Ways and Means Committee, came in a package of amendments that won House approval on a vote of 92-49. Democrats said the changes were needed to stem increases in school property taxes, a goal that Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican, has pushed.
But Douglas opposed blocking the manufacturers’ tax cut, something manufacturers said was needed during tough economic times. The governor rebutted Democrats’ assertions that the change in the tax on manufacturers was not a tax increase, merely a delay in a scheduled tax cut.
“It’s an increase in what they were anticipating paying,’’ the governor said. He said Vermont lost about 2,000 manufacturing jobs in the past decade.
“I can’t imagine a worse time to propose raising taxes on those businesses that are so vital to our economic future,’’ Douglas said.