Forget “Taxachusetts” or Connecticut – Maine should worry about being…Maine

June 29, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

A vibrant economy that works for everyone needs strong public services, and above all, good schools. And that requires everyone to pay their fair share towards those services. Recently, opponents of the voter-approved surcharge on high earners for education have sounded shrill warnings that Maine will be labelled a “high tax” state like Massachusetts or Connecticut. But the reality is that the alternative is far worse. Without … 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

Question 2 will create a strong economy, thriving communities, and successful kids

November 1, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Maine’s future economic success depends on having a well-skilled workforce able to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century – and the means of developing that workforce is through the education of our children.  Research indicates that investment in education is not only one of the best economic decisions a state can make, but that the earlier we direct resources at students, the more impact it has on … Read the rest

Demystifying Maine’s school funding formula to show how Question 2 will move our students to the head of the class

October 17, 2016 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

Question 2 on this November’s ballot increases revenue for education by $159 million a year. The state would distribute revenue raised through the existing state funding formula, and state funding would reach  55 percent of statewide education costs, a funding benchmark Maine voters mandated in 2004. Fully 94 percent of Maine students live in districts likely to receive increased state funding if Question 2 passes. Question 2 would … 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

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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

State Income Tax Revenue Falls as Bill for 2011 Income Tax Cuts Comes Due

June 11, 2014 by

Four years after Maine Revenue Services (MRS) and the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal office put a $166 million price tag on Governor LePage’s income tax cut, an enormous decline in FY 2014 state income tax revenue appears to be validating their estimates. State income tax revenue through the first 10 months of fiscal year 2014 is $109 million—or 8.9%— lower than it was last year, according to the State Controller’s latest … Read the rest

Taxes Have Little Effect on People’s Decisions about What State to Live In

May 8, 2014 by

A lengthy and exhaustive new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities confirms what reality-based analysts have known for a long time: state taxes do not weigh heavily in people’s decisions about where to live and work.

Among the report’s conclusions, most of which will be familiar to folks who have been following this issue:

  • A very small fraction—no more than 2 percent—of Americans move to another state
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