Study embraced by Senator Collins actually affirms that her plan will not prevent people from losing health insurance and paying higher premiums  

December 8, 2017 by

Garrett Martin

Earlier this week, Avalere health consulting released a report indicating that two proposals advocated by Senator Collins would reduce health insurance premiums. Senator Collins seized on this analysis. In a tweet on December 6, she claimed that the Avalere study “confirms my reinsurance bill & Alexander-Murray proposal would reduce health insurance premiums by 18% in 2019.” 

The problem is that Senator Collins seems to be ignoring a very … Read the rest

Not filing an income tax return? You could be leaving as much as $1,000 on the table!

March 31, 2017 by
Garrett Martin

Garrett Martin

As the deadline for filing income taxes approaches, tens of thousands of Mainers who don’t owe any income tax should still file a return in order to benefit from refundable state tax credits.

Maine’s income tax forms include two new refundable credits this year. That means that even if you owe no income tax, you could still get a refund of as much as $1,000.

The two credits … Read the rest

The LePage administration’s Q2 analysis gets it wrong

March 10, 2017 by
Garrett Martin

Garrett Martin

Economic impact analysis is not an exact science. It is rife with assumptions. Bad assumptions result in bad analysis. And bad analysis yields bad public policy.

Look no further  than the “Kansas experiment” for the disastrous consequences of policy based on such junk science. The mastermind behind the Kansas tax reform, Arthur Laffer, is notorious for peddling an economic theory that has no grounding in the real world. … Read the rest

Setting the Record Straight on the Impacts of Governor LePage’s Tax Plan

January 18, 2017 by
Garrett Martin blog 11-16-2015

Garrett Martin

The Maine Sunday Telegram’s (MST) recently published, above the fold, front page story on the impacts of Governor LePage’s tax plan comes up short in its analysis of the costs and benefits to Maine families of the LePage tax plan. Aside from overstating the benefits from proposed income tax changes, the article fails to account for the impact of proposed sales and property tax changes on the bottom … Read the rest

No Communities Will Lose Education Funding as a Result of Question 2

October 19, 2016 by
Garrett Martin blog 11-16-2015

Garrett Martin

Don’t be deceived Sebago, Lincolnville, Greenwood, Bremen, Newry, Machiasport, and Jonesport. Despite Maine Heritage Policy Center’s (MHPC) bogus claim, a “Yes” vote on Question 2 will not cause you to lose education funding. In fact, you likely stand to gain funding if Question 2 passes.

Towns that lose education funding do so when they have a drop in student enrollment or an increase in property values. Question Read the rest

Focus on sales tax increases obscures the reality of a better deal for Maine people

January 11, 2016 by

Garrett Martin blog 11-16-2015Last year’s budget deal reduced taxes for 83% of Mainers. But the changes don’t happen all at once. And as the Maine media has reported, new sales taxes, potentially some of the least popular provisions of the bipartisan deal, went into effect on January 1. Taxpayers won’t fully realize more popular provisions – income tax cuts for nearly 9 out of every 10 Maine families and property tax cuts … Read the rest

Health Insurance Coverage in Maine: Heading in the Wrong Direction, Particularly for Children

September 17, 2015 by

New Census Bureau data released yesterday paint a bleak picture for Maine when it comes to improving access to affordable health coverage.

Maine is the only state that has not experienced an increase in the percentage of people with health insurance coverage since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The new data also show that Maine currently ranks 24th in the nation in percentage of those with … Read the rest

Latest Budget Deal modestly improves Maine’s tax system progressivity, future revenue adequacy less certain

June 16, 2015 by

Today, state legislators released details of a budget deal that, if passed, would avoid a state government shutdown. The deal includes significant changes to Maine’s tax code. The proposal:

  • Restructures the state’s tax brackets and rates;

  • Increases the standard deduction this year but then phases it out;

  • Phases out itemized deductions for upper income taxpayers;

  • Doubles the homestead exemption for all Maine resident homeowners;

  • Maintains the current 5.5% sales tax

Read the rest

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

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