Budget deal includes refundable tax credits for low- and moderate-income Mainers

June 30, 2015 by

“Combined with Maine’s circuit breaker property tax relief program, which was renamed and converted to a refundable income tax credit two years ago, there will now be substantial financial incentives for low-income Mainers to file an income tax return and receive refundable credits they have coming to them. And that will mean they have more in their wallets to pay the bills or save for the future.”

The tax overhaul … Read the rest

What’s wrong with the governor’s tax proposal, in one chart

April 16, 2015 by

There are two fundamental problems with the governor’s tax reform plan. First, it doesn’t adequately target tax cuts to low- and moderate-income Mainers. Second, it would force cuts to education, health care, and other critical services important to Maine people and businesses.

We can see this with a simple pie chart showing information from Maine Revenue Services’ distributional analysis of the governor’s plan. His plan provides $150 million in tax … Read the rest

Maine legislators must reject the Governor’s call for a Constitutional Convention

March 26, 2015 by

With today’s visit from Governor Kasich of Ohio, Governor LePage appears to be buying into a radical and reckless idea to call a Constitutional Convention under Article V of the US Constitution. The legislature should reject any resolve or other legislative vehicle offered by the Governor to do so.

Calling a constitutional convention is extremely dangerous. A constitutional convention would open up the US Constitution to whatever amendments its delegates … Read the rest

Low-income Maine residents would benefit from Governor LePage’s proposed sales tax fairness credit

March 25, 2015 by

Buried in Governor LePage’s tax reform proposal is a good provision that would create new refundable income tax credit for low-income Maine residents. This credit is meant to offset some of the impact of sales tax increases and expansions the governor is proposing as part of his tax reform plan. The governor has correctly recognized that increasing sales taxes would have a disproportionately large impact on low-income residents. The idea … Read the rest

Labor Department’s minimum wage testimony misses the mark

March 24, 2015 by

Instead of informing yesterday’s public hearing on a raft of bills that would raise Maine’s minimum wage, the Maine Department of Labor chose to present a slew of unhelpful facts in an attempt to persuade lawmakers to vote against common-sense legislation to raise wages for tens of thousands of low- and middle-income Maine workers, increase demand for goods and services in Maine’s economy, and reward work.

In wide-ranging testimony, Julie … Read the rest

The only surprise in Maine’s labor force participation decline is why it took so long to happen

March 19, 2015 by

Maine’s labor force participation was 64.1% in 2014, down from 65.1% in 2013, according to model-based estimates from the Labor Department released earlier this year. Maine’s 2014 decline was one of the largest in the nation. The estimates come from the US Labor Department’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, based on a monthly survey of fewer than 2,000 Maine households. LAUS is the longstanding source for official estimates of … Read the rest

Many non-resident estates would benefit from Governor LePage’s proposed estate tax repeal

March 18, 2015 by

As I explained previously, Gov. LePage’s proposal to eliminate Maine’s estate tax would exclusively benefit the wealthy. And now, thanks to information provided to the Taxation Committee yesterday by Maine Revenue Services, we learn that nearly half of the benefit would accrue to the estates of wealthy out-of-state residents. There were 153 taxable estates in Maine from decedents who died in 2013. Of those, 83 (54%) belonged to Maine … Read the rest

Cutting Taxes on Pensions Won’t Keep Retirees from Moving to Other States

March 4, 2015 by

The argument that people move between states because of taxes is wildly overblown in contemporary state policy debates. Research on this issue is fairly clear: tax flight just doesn’t show up in carefully controlled studies.

But that hasn’t stopped the LePage administration from continuing to argue that Maine must cut personal and corporate income taxes and estate taxes to encourage people to live here. When asked recently by members of … 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

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

Next Page »