Senate Finance supports cloud tax moratorium

The Senate Finance Committee voted 6-1 to back a three-year moratorium on taxation of cloud computing services and create a study committee to examine the issue and help decide whether to make the moratorium permanent.

The cloud computing amendment the committee backed will go into the miscellaneous tax bill the committee hopes to vote out today.

The plan for a moratorium clashes with a bill the House Ways and Means Committee approved earlier this year that did not include a moratorium.

The amendment was offered by Sen. Rich Westman, a Lamoille County Republican.

The Shumlin administration backs a moratorium, but its own tax department believes state law means cloud computing is subject to the sales tax.

The amendment would also allow taxes to be refunded going back to Dec. 31, 2006 for some companies that paid the sales tax on cloud computing.