We’ve all seen how state and local governments often throw huge amounts of money at large corporations that will agree to move their headquarters or a factory to a city or state. Amazon.com has even turned such a decision-making process into a year-long media event during which some states bid billions for a second headquarters of the company.

But what about small states that don’t have the resources to incentives necessary to compete for such large enterprises? Vermont thinks it has a better idea.
To help address the state’s rapidly shrinking tax base, Vermont is attempting a new spin on the conventional industrial planning approach: It is paying people who currently work remotely for non-Vermont employers relocation expenses of $10,000 over two years if they will move to Vermont.

Why is Vermont willing to pay relocation expenses for remote workers who will move to the state?

  • The state has a rapidly shrinking tax base
  • Vermont is aging faster than the rest of the U.S. population
  • Remote workers can work from any location and Vermont is a beautiful place to live

You better act quickly, however

  • The first-come, first-served remote worker grants are only available to new residents who relocate on or after Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Vermont has budgeted grants for about 100 new remote workers in the first three years of the program and about 20 additional workers per year for every year after.

Perhaps, there’s a better way to attract more remote workers — and small business owners along Main Street

We’re big fans of Vermont. Four seasons a year. Heck, even one of our favorite small business movies was set in Vermont, Baby Boom.

But we think a plan that attracts only 300 workers over three years may not be the solution you’re looking for. Again, we love you Vermont, but if you want to get your economy bustling, you’ll probably find the answer in the chart below.

Overall Tax Burden by State (Top Ten Most Burdensome)
Source: WalletHub

Total Tax Burden
State Total Tax Burden
Property Tax Burden
Individual Income Tax Burden
Total Sales & Excise Tax Burden
1 New York 13.04% 4.62% 4.78% 3.64%
2 Hawaii 11.57% 2.20% 2.85% 6.52%
3 Maine 11.02% 4.80% 2.69% 3.53%
4 Vermont 10.94% 5.20% 2.32% 3.42%
5 Minnesota 10.37% 3.00% 3.70% 3.67%
6 Connecticut 10.19% 4.17% 3.34% 2.68%
7 Rhode Island 10.14% 4.70% 2.31% 3.13%
8 Illinois 10.08% 4.11% 2.44% 3.53%
9 New Jersey 10.02% 5.12% 2.46% 2.44%
10 California 9.57% 2.66% 3.65% 3.26%


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