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

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 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

Portland Continues to Drive Job Growth

October 29, 2014 by

The greater Portland area—extending from Kennebunk in the south to Freeport in the north—continues to account for most of the job growth in Maine over the past seven years, according to MECEP analysis of metropolitan area nonfarm payroll employment figures released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since the Great Recession officially began in December, 2007, the Portland metropolitan area has added about 2,900 jobs, while the rest … Read the rest

Broadly-Measured Unemployment Continues Slow Road to Recovery

October 28, 2014 by

Although remaining well-above pre-recession levels, Maine’s “U6” rate of unemployment is showing signs of improvement along with the nation as a whole, according to data released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average over the past year, Maine’s U6 rate of unemployment was 12.4%, virtually no different than the 12.5% rate in the nation as a whole. The pre-recession rates were between 8 and 9 percent … Read the rest

Maine’s Lack of Population and Job Growth Tamps Down Growth in Wages and Salaries

September 30, 2014 by

Today’s data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Maine’s personal income growth kept pace with the nation and the region in the second quarter of 2014, but Maine’s lack of population and job growth will make it difficult for the state to keep up over the long run.

Personal income is the sum of wages and salaries, fringe benefits, bonuses, income from investments, “pass through” income from businesses, … Read the rest

Child poverty fell in 2013, but median household income continues to go nowhere

September 18, 2014 by

Child poverty in Maine fell back to pre-recession levels in 2013, but income for the median household and the overall poverty rate saw no improvement, according to annual estimates released today by the US Census Bureau.

Maine has 548,000 households. Half of them have incomes above the median and half have incomes below. The Census Bureau estimates that income of the median household in Maine was $46,974 in 2013, … Read the rest

A simple 1-2 punch to give working Mainers a raise

September 5, 2014 by

Increasing Maine’s earned income tax credit and raising the state’s minimum wage would go a long way toward making work pay for Maine’s families today and lay the foundation for a stronger economy tomorrow, according to new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

With wages for the typical Maine worker still well below pre-recession levels and no signs of growth in sight, lawmakers should act immediately when … Read the rest

State revenue in FY 2014 was slightly higher than expected but 2011 tax cuts keep revenues well below pre-recession levels

August 1, 2014 by

Total General Fund revenue for the state fiscal year ending in June 2014 was $3,113,496,933, which was $39 million (1.3%) more than expected, according to the revenue report released Thursday by the State Controller’s Office.

The General Fund is the primary pool of money that the state uses to pay its share of everything ranging from health care and K-12 education to courts and conservation. It is important to remember … Read the rest

Property tax relief falls short in 2013, major policy changes still needed

June 27, 2014 by

The amount of property tax relief Maine residents claimed under a new state tax credit will fall $9-12 million short of the $34 million forecast, according to the most recent monthly revenue update from Acting Finance Commissioner Richard Rosen.

In 2013, the legislature created the Property Tax Fairness Credit (PTFC) to replace the longstanding Maine Residents Property Tax and Rent Relief Program (also known as the “Circuit Breaker”). This change, … Read the rest

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