Gov. LePage’s tax bill would slash taxes for corporations and the wealthy while leaving the state unable to fund important initiatives. Democrats have offered an amendment that supports working families. UPDATE 4/19: Republicans chose to leave Augusta before their work was done. A special session may be called by House and Senate leadership. Contact your legislators and tell them you expect them to finish the work we sent them to Augusta to do, including voting YES on the majority amendment for LD 1655.
The LePage administration recently released proposals to conform state-level income taxation to the Trump tax cut law that passed in December. Not surprisingly, his plans favor wealthy individuals and profitable corporations while ignoring critical public needs. Among the highlights, some profitable businesses would avoid paying state taxes at all, and some of these would receive $18 million in tax breaks for capital investments made outside of Maine. In addition, the top 1% would receive an average tax break of $557, while the bottom fifth of Maine households would receive $1. Meanwhile, multimillionaire heirs would benefit from a tax exemption on their inheritance that would bring it to eleven times what it was just a few years ago. These kinds of tax benefits don’t create jobs or boost the economy. LePage’s tax conformity bill, LD 1655, would result in a loss of $88 billion in the state coffers over the rest of the 2-year budget cycle and even more in future years. Voters have repeatedly shown that they want to see higher state support for education and health care, but this bill would severely reduce revenues the state will need to address these and other needs, such as broadband, the opioid crisis, environmental protections, or infrastructure. The brief by the Maine Center for Economic Policy contains additional information. Democrats have offered an amendment that supports working families by expanding tax credits and providing property tax relief for homeowners and renters. There are no overall tax increases to the wealthy Mainers and businesses who received the majority of the tax cuts under Trump’s tax plan.
UPDATE 4/19: Republicans chose to leave Augusta before their work was done. A special session may be called by House and Senate leadership. Stay tuned for updates. Contact your legislators and tell them you expect them to finish the work we sent them to Augusta to do, including voting YES on the majority amendment for LD 1655. Not sure who your legislators are? Find them and their contact information here.
- Education, Medicare expansion, infrastructure, and the opioid crisis are all more important than tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. (Wherever possible, share personal stories showing the importance of funding for these other things)
- The Trump tax cuts already showered approximately $1 billion in tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy in Maine. They don’t need yet more tax cuts, especially with so many public priorities being underfunded for so long. This tax plan is immoral.
- Eliminating the top corporate tax rate is unfair. Most Americans believe that corporations ought to pay more in taxes, not less.
- If you have a background that enables you to discuss accelerated and bonus depreciation intelligently, point out that this is ineffective at creating jobs or boosting the economy. Thoughtful, well-informed emails and testimony on this topic are especially valued.
- More easy-to-share info can be found in MCEP’s graphic, below.