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Alcohol, Gas and Fertilizer to Pay for Water
To cut down on pollution in Lake Champlain and other Vermont waters, lawmakers are considering raising taxes on rooms and meals, alcohol, gas, diesel and agricultural fertilizer, and adding a $5 per night fee on hotel stays.

Marina slip rentals, parking spaces, self-storage facilities and limousine services would be newly subjected to the 6 percent sales and use tax.

The total package being drafted in the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife would raise about $50 million per year.

The bill would also retain a 0.2 percent property tax surcharge that’s currently scheduled to end in 2018. Revenue from the gas and diesel tax increases would go into the Transportation Fund, rather than the Clean Water Fund like most of the money, to help pay mitigate pollution from road runoff.

 
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Gulf Of Mexico Dead Zone - A report from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium has a grim outlook for the ocean basin. An annual algae bloom that decays and expends oxygen from the water, killing any biodiversity in the region, is expected to cause a hypoxic zone (also called a dead zone) to expand almost three times larger than normal.


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