Higher Education Equals Better-Paying Jobs

March 25, 2013 by

We all know it. The surest path out of poverty is a good job with benefits. But to get one of these good-paying jobs, Mainers need more education and training. To give low-income workers the skills they need, Maine must expand access to higher education.

The data are clear. States with lower levels of education have higher rates of unemployment and poverty. Yet Maine continues to fall behind many … Read the rest

Raise the Minimum Wage to Reward Work and Boost Maine’s Economy

March 22, 2013 by

Today, Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development (LCRED) takes action on LD 611, which would raise Maine’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 and ensure that it automatically keeps up with the cost of living in the future.

LCRED should pass the bill unanimously. Raising the minimum wage by a dollar would reward hard-working Mainers and help pull Maine’s economy out of the doldrums after … Read the rest

Two Steps toward Tax Fairness

March 21, 2013 by

At MECEP we’ve written often about the lack of fairness in Maine’s tax system. The bottom 20 percent of Mainers pay 17 cents on every dollar earned in state and local taxes while the top 1 percent pay less than 10 cents on every dollar. The average Mainer pays a little more than 11 cents on every dollar.

Ensuring that Maine’s wealthiest residents, those earning more than $250,000, pay … Read the rest

Two different proposals, but only one is right for Maine

March 20, 2013 by

Right now the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are debating two vastly different budget proposals that would take Maine—and our entire country—in two very different directions.

Only one of these proposals is right for Maine.  It is a measured and even-handed response to our economic and fiscal challenges.  It replaces all nine years of the dangerous sequester cuts with a plan that stabilizes our debt.  And it … Read the rest

Stop Tax Increases on Maine Working Families and the Middle Class

March 11, 2013 by

During the 125th Maine Legislature, Governor LePage insisted on more than $430 million in tax cuts that mostly benefit wealthy Mainers. He got his way. Wealthy Mainers got enormous tax cuts. Now the bill is due.

The Governor plans to balance the budget entirely on the backs of local communities, K-12 schools, and low- and middle-income Maine residents. He is asking for virtually nothing from wealthy Mainers.

This week … Read the rest

They’re Wrong

March 1, 2013 by

Governor LePage and his allies claim that Governor LePage’s budget proposal can’t raise property taxes because that’s a municipal decision. They’re wrong. If passed as written, Governor LePage’s budget proposal would directly raise property taxes for hundreds of thousands of Maine families by eliminating the Maine Residents Property Tax and Rent Refund Program and the Homestead Exemption for Mainers under 65 years of age.

Homestead Exemption

Property taxes for any … Read the rest