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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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Persistent High Lake Levels Set Stage for Big Flood - Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the Madison area. When Lake Monona crested, officials began harvesting the aquatic vegetation in an effort to increase the water flow out of the chain of lakes. Staff used ten mechanical weed harvesters to remove over 270 loads of aquatic plants. That doubled the flow of water leaving the chain of lakes, so more water is leaving the Yahara chain than what’s entering, allowing lake levels to stabilize.


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