Wheels for Warmth is a great thing. It turns an unutilized resource (winter tires sitting in garages) into money for emergency home heating assistance. It also gives many a Vermonter a chance to buy perfectly good snows on the cheap.
Win-win, and a testament to Phil Scott’s community-mindedness.
But when you run a charitable enterprise, no matter how noble, you have to play by the rules.
Charities that sell stuff to raise money are supposed to collect and pay sales tax. And as far as I can tell, Wheels for Warmth doesn’t do so.
An inquiry to the Tax Department produced the following information courtesy of Kirby Keeton,
Tax Policy Analyst Interim General Counsel for the Department.
The state “cannot disclose tax information related to a specific taxpayer,” Keeton wrote. However, it can say whether an entity is registered to collect and pay sales tax.
Wheels for Warmth is not so registered.