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Vermont AG settles computer privacy case against leasing company

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 1:45pm -- tim

SEI/Aaron’s, Inc, a leasing company, has agreed to enter into a consumer protection settlement that will require the payment of $45,000 to the State of Vermont and $2,000 to each of three Vermont consumers whose leased computers were remotely monitored for online activity. Vermont Attorney General Sorrell stated that the settlement “reflects my commitment to protecting the privacy rights of Vermont consumers, and to enforcing our consumer laws to achieve that goal.”

Survey suggests guarded optimism for the economy, health insurance concerns persist

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 1:15pm -- tim

The most recent survey of businesses by a Williston accounting firm has found that businesses seem to have a guarded optimism in expected sales growth, expect a steady increase in capital spending, while also feeling that property tax reform and healthcare costs will continue to be issues vital to the success of the economy. The Certified Public Accounting firm of Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs located in Williston, Vermont, conducted its semi-annual economic survey in July regarding the outlook of Vermont-based businesses.  The survey, customized by the Firm to evaluate small- to medi

Vermont Department of Taxes to publish lists of delinquent taxpayers

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 10:34am -- tim

The Vermont Department of Taxes will begin issuing lists by end of the year of 100 individual taxpayers and 100 business taxpayers with the highest amounts of unpaid tax debt. A new law, Act 174, enacted in June 2014 grants Vermont’s commissioner of taxes the ability to compile and publish these lists as another way to obtain compliance from taxpayers. The lists will be published on the department website. Such taxpayers will be notified soon that their names will be made public if they don't pay up. More than 28 states publish lists of delinquent taxpayers.

Vermont Gas invokes eminent domain in pipeline expansion

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 8:46am -- tim

by John Herrick Vermont Gas intends to use eminent domain to secure four parcels of land along the route of its pipeline from Chittenden County south to Middlebury, according to filings with state regulators. A Vermont Gas attorney on August 19 filed with the Public Service Board its intent to condemn four properties along the pipeline route, three in Williston and one in St. George. Eminent domain is a process through which private property is taken for public use and the landowner is compensated at fair market value.

Shumlin requests federal disaster declaration for Windsor and Windham Counties

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 4:45pm -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin today forwarded a formal request for a federal disaster declaration in Windsor and Windham Counties for public infrastructure damage suffered during the storm of July 28.  A Public Assistance disaster declaration would allow communities in those counties to receive at least 75 percent reimbursement for repairs to public roads, bridges, and other infrastructure that was damaged in the floods.

Burlington Electric Department over-billed City, UVM over $2 million

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 2:51pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Burlington Electric Department (BED) Interim General Manager Neale Lunderville was joined by Mayor Miro Weinberger today to announce the discovery by BED staff of significant over-billing errors involving two of BED’s large commercial customers, the City of Burlington ($1,779,201) and the University of Vermont ($357,794), as well as an under-billing error involving the ECHO Center.

Personal income tax revenues in Vermont fall farther behind

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 2:30pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont tax revenues under-performed again last month, as the personal income tax, the most important component in the state's tax structure, did not reach expectations. Personal income tax receipts have struggled for several months and resulted in the Shumlin Administration cutting spending in several departments by $31 million. Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding released the preliminary August fiscal year (FY) 2015 revenue results today for the General, Transportation, and Education Funds.

Shumlin announces new renewable energy goal

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 10:38am -- tim

Joined by business leaders and state officials, Governor Peter Shumlin Thursday visited a 500 kilowatt solar net metering project at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility, the first of 10 planned solar projects that will power state buildings. The projects are part of an initiative the governor announced in September of 2013 to deploy 5 megawatts of solar power that will increase the state’s use of renewable energy while saving taxpayers on state energy costs.

Burlington Electric completes city purchase of Winooski One hydroelectric facility

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 4:16pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine A commercial waterfall for more than two centuries and a hydro facility in its current state since 1993, the City of Burlington just paid $16 million for the three turbine, 7.4 megawatt Winooski One Hydroelectric Facility. The Winooski plant can generate 8 percent of teh city's power needs, which equates to 5,200 homes.

Vermont tourism promoters, Route 802 and Inntopia develop centralized reservation system

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 1:50pm -- tim

A recently launched partnership between the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM), the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and two Vermont businesses, Route 802 and Inntopia, is working to achieve a broad public benefit: increased tourism business. Unprecedented, the partnership offers a seamless shopping experience to its customers, regardless of where or what they are reserving. Lift tickets, transportation, season passes, activities, and a variety of other resort and lodging products can be handled through web, mobile and phone reservation systems.

Factors that contributed to last year’s propane price volatility remain

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 12:37pm -- tim

by John Herrick Northeast propane dealers are urging customers to fill their tanks this summer to help prevent shortages linked to last winter’s record high prices. Residential propane prices have dropped from the more than $4 per gallon peak last winter, but the infrastructure challenges in the region that drove those shortages remain, industry representatives say.