If you work remotely and would like to earn a bit more cash, forget being a mystery shopper or stuffing envelopes. Instead, consider moving to Vermont -- and net yourself a cool $10,000 in the process.
Gov. Phil Scott approved a bill back in May to reward remote workers who move to Vermont, offering up to $10,000 to cover moving expenses and other costs. Applications were being accepted as of January 1, 2019, reported USA Today.
The grants will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, said Nate Formalarie, a spokesman for the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Said agency has been charged with administering the program.
Why are state officials offering this sweet deal to newcomers? They hope to showcase how awesome their state is -- while bringing in more tax revenue -- revealed USA Today. Sen. Ginny Lyons, who sponsored the bill, hopes the incentive will encourage graduating college students to remain within the state, too.
"We think Vermont is well-positioned to capitalize on the increase in the availability of remote work," said Michael Schirling, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. "The incentive may be particularly helpful for couples considering a move to Vermont, when one spouse finds a job in Vermont but the other spouse would need to work remotely."So far, the state has been contacted by thousands of interested people. Current residents are not eligible, however.
The law defines a qualifying remote worker as someone who works primarily from a home office or co-working space in Vermont -- and is employed full-time by a company that is based outside of the state. Only workers who take the plunge and become full-time Vermont residents after January 1, 2019, are eligible.
Remote workers who relocate to Vermont will be eligible to be reimbursed for moving expenses -- or membership fees for a co-working space -- as well as the costs of computer software, hardware, and broadband access.
The remote worker incentive program will kick off in 2019 with a $500,000 appropriation from the State Legislature. Total payouts will be capped each year. The state expects to spend up to $125,000 on the incentives in 2019, which would be enough to cover the expenses of 25 workers who are granted the full $10,000. Two payments of $5,000 would be awarded in a two-year span, if necessary.
The state has been authorized to spend up to $250,000 in 2020, which state officials believe will further fuel the success of the program.