The one question Republican legislators need to answer

May 22, 2015 by

Last Friday legislative Republicans released their tax plan for the coming two-year budget cycle. In reference to the Republican plan, Maine people deserve an answer to one specific question:

“The legislative Republicans’ tax proposal takes money from poor and working class Mainers and gives it to the wealthy. Is this by design or by mistake?”

Under the Republican plan, Mainers with incomes less than $57,000 get a tax increase. That’s … Read the rest

Where tax fairness is concerned, the legislative Republicans’ tax plan is the worst of all

May 19, 2015 by

Republican legislators released their plan for overhauling Maine’s tax system last week. Yesterday MECEP posted a chart comparing the distributional impacts of the Republican and Democratic plans. The key takeaway from that chart was that Mainers whose income is less than $89,000 – the bottom 80% of all Maine taxpayers – fare better on average under the Democratic plan, while the top 20% of Mainers do better under the … Read the rest

Everything you need to know about the Democratic and Republican tax plans in one chart

May 18, 2015 by

Last week Republican legislators released their proposal for overhauling Maine’s tax system. The plan includes income and corporate tax cuts, and eliminates the estate tax, all disproportionately  benefiting Maine’s wealthiest earners. It also continues the current 5.5% sales tax rate slated to expire later this year, and increases the meals and lodging tax rate to 9%. The Republican plan offers no new property tax relief or credits to improve the … Read the rest

Republican Tax Plan Gives Huge Tax Breaks to the Wealthy While Raising Taxes for Working Mainers and Seniors

May 15, 2015 by

Legislative Republicans have released a tax plan that is a bad deal for working Mainers and seniors living on fixed incomes. Based on preliminary analysis the Maine Center for Economic Policy conducted in conjunction with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Mainers with income less than $57,000 will, on average, receive a tax increase under the Republican plan. That means approximately 60% of Maine people will get a tax … Read the rest

New Report: Rejecting federal health care funds is costing Maine $26.7 million in General Fund savings

May 15, 2015 by

Medicaid expansion 5-14-2015Despite five bipartisan votes in favor of accepting federal healthcare funds to cover 70,000 uninsured Mainers, five successive vetoes by the governor have ensured that Maine has left nearly $1 billion on the table since 2014.  A report by an outside consulting firm has added a new wrinkle to Maine’s healthcare standoff: if policymakers accepted the federal funds, Maine would realize a net gain of $26.7 million in general fund … Read the rest

3 unsavory ways to pay for eliminating Maine’s income tax

May 5, 2015 by

Maine’s Constitution requires a balanced budget. Eliminating the state’s income tax, as the governor proposes to do in 2020, will blow a $1.7 billion hole in the state’s budget. That represents close to half of the state’s general fund budget. Here are 3 unsavory ways legislators can balance Maine’s budget without an income tax:

  1. Eliminate all state funding for K-12 education and higher education and half of state funding on
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Eliminating Maine’s income tax: A boon to wealthy Mainers, will hurt everyone else

May 4, 2015 by

Two weeks ago Governor LePage notified lawmakers of his intention to amend Maine’s constitution to eliminate the state’s income tax by 2020. This may mean the governor has thrown in the towel on his budget proposal that significantly reduces Maine’s income tax and pays for it by increasing sales and property taxes. The response to the governor’s original tax plan among members of his own party has been tepid at … Read the rest

Debt buyers drain over $7 million out of Maine consumers

May 1, 2015 by

The Center for Responsible Lending reports that, because of weak protections in Maine law, Maine consumers will pay $7.3 million to just one out-of-state company, Encore Capital, on debt they may not even owe.

Speculators purchase old debt from creditors like auto financing or credit card companies. These “debt buyers” then sue the consumer to recoup their costs. This is a legitimate business practice. But, the debt buyers’ industry … Read the rest