1% Local Option Sales Tax

During Representative Town Meeting on March 23, 2019 Town Meeting Representatives will be considering an article (Article 11) to raise the sales tax from 6% to 7% on certain items purchased in Brattleboro.

In an already competitive market for our local businesses, exacerbated by our proximity to tax-free New Hampshire and the ease of Internet shopping, the membership of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce urges Brattleboro Town Meeting Representatives to vote “no” on Article 11.


The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce is made up of businesses and organizations from Brattleboro and surrounding towns.  We represent every sector:  agriculture, arts, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, non-profit organizations, retail and services.  The faces behind these businesses and organizations are our neighbors, friends and family.  They are Brattleboro residents who pay property taxes on their homes and for those who own the buildings where their businesses are housed, taxes on those buildings as well.  So, like all Brattleboro residents they directly feel the impact that high property taxes have on our residents, our economic development efforts, and our desire to attract people to move here.

Increasing the sales tax may seem like an easy and inconsequential way to decrease our property taxes.  But for retailers, many of whom are sole proprietors who run their shops with limited staff and small profit margins, the consequences of the easy solution could be a negative impact on their ability to do business in Brattleboro.

The retail sector plays a necessary and important role in our town’s economy.  It provides the everyday goods that our residents need and in the case of our walkable downtown district, encourages visitors to dine and stay.  But as sales figures provided in this document show our retail sector is fragile.  If our retail sector lags or moves elsewhere, shoppers will follow.

The question for town meeting representatives is:  Is it wise to impose a tax on an important economic driver that is fragile and has seen its sales receipts decline?  We believe the answer is no.  We hope you will consider the information outlined in the Local Option Sales Tax Summary Sheet.  In addition, links to more information can be found below.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Chamber at:

180 Main Street, Brattleboro
(802) 254-4565

Additional Information

Local Option Sales Tax Summary Sheet
Local Option Sales Tax Summary Sheet

Chamber of Commerce Survey
2019 Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce Survey Results and Comments

Brattleboro Retail, Meals, Rooms, and Alcohol Receipts 2006-2018
Retail, Meals, Rooms and Alcohol Receipts Graph – Brattleboro

Sales Tax – State Statutes
Vermont State Statutes Title 32 Section 9701
Vermont State Statutes Title 32 Section 9741
Sales Tax Taxable & Exempt Fact Sheet. Source – Vermont Department of Taxes

Sales Tax Study
The Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Choices – The Connecticut River Valley Economy as a Case Study by Arthur Woolf, Ph.D.