Scott say Energizer left VT due to bad business climate; VT Digger says he has no evidence

Gov. Phil Scott can't back up his claim that Energizer left Bennington due to Vermont's poor business climate. VT Digger says there's no evidence for that claim. Who's right?

The only public statements Energizer has made on the decision indicate it is making the move because it would be more efficient for the company to produce the hearing aid batteries in one factory. The Portage plant employs more than twice as many workers as the Bennington facility (about 225 compared to 90). It’s also slightly larger.

“In order to be successful as a larger company, we are making significant investments to better utilize our existing manufacturing facilities, reduce complexity in our operations, and enhance service to our customers,” Marcus Boolish, Energizer’s director of government affairs, wrote in a letter to Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, last week. 

“Businesses are going to do what’s in the best interest of the business,” [Scott spokesperson Rebecca] Kelley said. “If their decision is to leave the state for another state, that indicates it is more advantageous and more competitive in that other state.” 

Kelley pointed to the fact that Vermont has among the highest power costs in the nation and some of the highest corporate and property taxes, according to the Tax Foundation’s latest business tax climate index. In 2018, Forbes ranked Vermont 47th in its U.S. “Best for Business” rankings and said that the cost of doing business in the state is 12% higher than the national average.   

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  • Rob Roper
    commented 2019-11-06 07:26:42 -0500
    This “fact check” is BS. Digger says Scott has no evidence the horrible business climate is why Energizer left — though they admit the business climate is horrible — because the company didn’t outright state that was their reason for leaving. Yet Digger provides no evidence that the business climate is NOT why Energizer left. They make the same leap to conclusion they accuse Scott of making. At best the statement is inconclusive, though I think we all know what the reality is. Just because OJ doesn’t make a statement admitting that he killed those people doesn’t mean claiming that he did so is false.
  • Richard Ley
    commented 2019-11-05 08:01:27 -0500
    The state of Vermont is slowly being eroded away by corruption at the highest levels including Pat Leahy Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders who supposedly represent Vermont in DC.

    Our state’s attorney TJ Donovan refuses to completely investigate Kiah Morris while governor Scott appoints her to special committees.

    We have to pay people $10,000 to come to the state of Vermont and we expect people to survive in the corruption that exists here.

    It is sad but the state of Vermont is headed for destruction at the lack of leadership.

    Over taxation is killing the average vermonter and now with the hoax of the green deal and more taxation what does Scott think is going to happen in this state?

    Now toss in the unnecessary gun laws that were passed by the likes of Phil Bruce and Maxine grad and Martin Lalonde…

    Vermont is beginning to look more and more like California..

    The invasion of the state of Vermont with of Staters that are hell-bent on destroying us a long with the help of Governor Phil Scott and the rhinos serving under the golden dome in Montpelier definitely will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back
  • Steven & Linda Pike
    commented 2019-11-04 20:33:34 -0500
    I do not like Scott, but he is right. Businesses coming to Vermont are like ants lining up for an anteater. Unless, of course, you have a state-subsidized green energy business, which means taxpayers are paying for you.
  • Mark Maloney
    commented 2019-11-02 20:18:29 -0400
    It is no secret that Vermont is not business friendly. For decades Vermont has seen businesses move to New Hampshire, New York, Canada, or elsewhere. Whether or not Gov. Scott is correct in this particular instance is really beside the point.