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

Maine’s Injured and Disabled Workers: A Humanitarian Challenge and an Economic Opportunity

December 15, 2014 by

Workers hurt on the job have no lobby in the State House, so little fanfare accompanied the Bureau of Labor Statistics release on workplace injury this week. But of the states submitting data, Maine’s rate of worksite injury is the highest in the nation: 5.3 injuries or work-related illnesses for every 100 workers. Nineteen Maine workers died on the job in 2013. This data means a lot for … Read the rest

In States Refusing Federal Coverage Funds, Rural Hospitals Pay the Price

December 1, 2014 by

Fifteen hundred hospital beds have vanished in rural America since 2010. The cause of the disappearing beds is no mystery:  rural hospitals are closing – and at a quickening pace.  Federal sequestration cuts and lower reimbursements from public and private insurers have hit U.S. hospitals’ bottom lines with a one-two punch.  But rural hospitals are hit particularly hard, because they are caught in a vise where they serve higher rates Read the rest

Migration Mythologists Flee Facts

November 24, 2014 by

Maine has gained more taxpayers and income than it has lost going back to the early 1990s, according to IRS tax records. In other words, for every Maine taxpayer who has moved out of state, a greater number of taxpayers have moved here to replace those who have left.

On net from 1993 to 2010, Maine added 903 taxpayers, more than 28,000 adults and children in taxpaying families, and about … Read the rest

Maine’s Jobs Recovery Still Weak

November 21, 2014 by

Today’s jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t give us much new information. Maine’s unemployment rate is about the same as the national rate at 5.8% and Maine has recovered less than 60% of the jobs it lost in the Great Recession, which ranks 44th among states.

Although slow population growth and aging baby boomers play some role in limiting our job growth in the … Read the rest

Maine’s Highway Fund is in Serious Trouble

November 10, 2014 by

Maine’s highway fund has nowhere near enough money coming into it to meet the state’s basic transportation needs, according to the biennial revenue and expenditure projection released earlier this fall by the state’s budget office.

According the budget office’s projections, the state will need to spend $924 million over the two-year period beginning in July, 2015 just to maintain minimally safe and efficient roads and bridges. But the state forecasts … Read the rest

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