Calling all remote workers: Vermont has a deal for you.
The state has a new law that will pay workers to move there and work remotely. Governor Phil Scott signed the legislation on Wednesday.
Eligible workers can get up to $5,000 a year, not to exceed $10,000 over two years, through the state’s new remote worker grant program.
The money can be used on qualified expenses, including costs to relocate, necessary computer equipment and software, internet access and co-working memberships.
Vermont has a small and aging population, according to Joan Goldstein, commissioner of economic development for Vermont. “We recognize the need to recruit people to the state, and this is one of those efforts.” She said her office is already getting inquiries from interested workers.
To be eligible, a worker must be a full-time employee for an out-of-state business, work primarily from home or a co-working space in Vermont, and become a full-time resident on or after January 1, 2019.
Interested workers better act fast. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, and there are annual limits to the grants.
For 2019, total grants cannot exceed $125,000. The cap increases in 2020 to $250,000, then drops back down to $125,000 in 2021.
The US labor market has been thriving recently, making it difficult to retain workers. Government data also shows people are moving less than they have in the past.
Companies have been getting more generous and creative to compete for talent. Some have been increasing pay and changing payroll practices, while others are beefing up benefits, like offering help paying down student loan debts and flexible schedules.
But there can be tax implications for living in one state and working in another.
“You will have to pay income tax in Vermont even if you earn it outside of the state,” said Goldstein. “The whole idea of getting more people is because we need to broaden the tax base … but if you are moving from New York, taxes are less here.”