We’re Getting Fiscal!

February 13, 2015 by

Tax-Budget Conference Title Slide 2-12-2015FB

More than 70 folks are assembled at Maple Hill Farm Conference Center in Hallowell for MECEP’s Tax and Budget Conference! Nature has given us a (albeit brief) respite from the snow. Joel Johnson has just completed his outstanding presentation, “Analyzing Governor LePage’s Tax Reform Plan.” You can view the slide below along with the rest of the slides from Joel’s presentation at this link.

Joel 2-13-2015 tax cuts slideFB

Check in later for more … Read the rest

After Sixteen Years of Progress Reducing Smoking Rates, Maine Shouldn’t Call Off the Fight

February 5, 2015 by

Up in Smoke 2-5-2015blog

The four major tobacco companies and the attorneys general of 46 states reached a master settlement agreement in 1998, acknowledging that the companies sold addictive products that caused an epidemic of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, the corporations agreed to pay $206 billion to the states over 25 years. The tobacco settlement is more than halfway over – states received the first payment in 1999. But many states have … Read the rest

Eliminating Maine’s Estate Tax: Another Gift from Governor LePage to Wealthy Mainers

February 3, 2015 by

The Governor’s plan to eliminate the state’s estate tax is bad for Maine, and the legislature should reject this proposal. It would hurt our ability to invest in a stronger economy for the state, and it would only benefit the wealthiest Maine estates and their heirs. It would further widen the growing gap between rich and poor in Maine and squander resources needed to educate kids, train workers, or offset … Read the rest

EITC Awareness Day: To receive it, you have to claim it

January 29, 2015 by

EITCTomorrow, January 30th, is EITC Awareness Day, and as tens of thousands of Mainers and millions of Americans file their income tax returns, the value of the EITC cannot be overstated. And EITC Awareness Day aims to let folks know that to take advantage of the EITC, you must file a tax return and claim it.

The earned income tax credit (EITC) reduces poverty, promotes work, and increases … Read the rest

Maine Capital Investment Credit: A Bogus “Bonus” Maine Can’t Afford

January 28, 2015 by

Imagine getting an unexpected bonus at the end of the year. It’s a nice windfall that we’d all appreciate. Would you feel differently if that bonus came at the expense of your colleagues getting access to child care? Or if it meant the lowest-paid workers in your organization wouldn’t get a raise? Would it change the major financial decisions you already made for that year based on your earnings?

Bonus Depreciation 1-28-2015smallEffectively … Read the rest

The Maine Capital Investment Credit (“bonus depreciation”) is an Ineffective and Unnecessary Giveaway to Large Businesses

January 28, 2015 by

Maine lawmakers should reject Governor LePage’s new plan to extend ineffective and unnecessary retroactive tax breaks to big businesses. As part of his tax “conformity” bill, Governor LePage proposes to match a federal tax break for big business called “bonus depreciation” by retroactively extending the expiration date of the Maine Capital Investment Credit from December 31st 2013 to December 31st 2014. This proposal would be ineffective for stimulating … Read the rest

The Sunday Telegram Analysis of LePage’s Tax Plan is Fatally Flawed. Ignore it.

January 26, 2015 by

The table that appeared on Page 10 of this week’s Maine Sunday Telegram is fatally flawed due to a variety of calculation errors and faulty methodology. It grossly overstates the benefits of the LePage tax plan. Readers should ignore it and wait for higher-quality analysis from Maine Revenue Services and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

The most obvious flaw relates to the calculation of current income taxes paid … Read the rest

Economist predicts slow and uneven economic growth in 2015

January 23, 2015 by

MECEP economist Joel Johnson recently spoke with MaineBiz about his predictions for the New Year.

Joel forecast slow, unbalanced economic growth in 2015. Households will get a break from lower gasoline and home heating oil costs in the short-term. But unemployment will still be stagnant in rural Maine. Job growth will not match that of 2014, with about 6,000 new jobs projected, keeping Maine stuck in the doldrums nearly six … Read the rest

Educational Opportunity: Opening Doors to Prosperity from Someone Who Knows

January 20, 2015 by

MEEOA_logoLast week, I was fortunate to be invited to speak on higher education funding at the annual conference of the Maine Educational Opportunity Association (MEEOA). MEEOA represents the federally-funded Upward Bound and TRIO programs, which serve over 10,000 Mainers – some adults, some people with disabilities, and many students in high-poverty middle schools and high schools across the state. Most of the students come from families earning less than $24,000 … Read the rest

Maine Jobs Recovery Continues to Trail the Nation and New England

December 19, 2014 by

Beyond the good news, bad news stories of businesses expanding or shuttering are broader trends that affirm a critical challenge that too many Maine families are facing: there just aren’t enough good paying jobs to go around. Today’s Maine jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calls attention to this fact.

For the month of November, Maine’s unemployment rate is 5.7%, roughly the same as the national … Read the rest

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