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  • Non-Partisan National Tax Institute says Democratic tax plan better for middle-class

    The Better Deal for Maine Democratic tax plan would provide a larger tax break than the LePage plan, on average, for the bottom 80 percent of Maine taxpayers. Photo of the Capitol by Ramona du Houx

    By Ramona du Houx

    On Tax Day, a new analysis from a non-partisan, national tax institute shows the Better Deal for Maine beats Governor Paul LePage’s budget when it comes to lowering the overall tax burden for the vast majority of taxpayers. 

    According to the analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Maine Center on Economic Policy (MECEP), the Better Deal for Maine plan would cut taxes, on average, for the bottom 95 percent of Maine taxpayers. It would provide a larger tax break than the Governor’s plan, on average, for the bottom 80 percent of Maine taxpayers.

    ITEP is an independent, non-partisan research organization that works on federal, state, and local tax policy issues. ITEP's mission is to ensure that elected officials, the media, and the general public have access to accurate, timely, and straightforward information that allows them to understand the effects of current and proposed tax policies.

    The table above shows that Mainers with incomes between $36,000 - $57,000 will get a total tax cut on average of $191 under the Better Deal plan compared to an average tax cut of $24 under Gov. LePage's plan. 

    “The analysis from the national, nonpartisan tax experts underscores what a better deal our plan is for middle class working families in our state,” said House Speaker Eves. “The Better Deal for Maine puts more money in the pockets of working families and invests in our economic future. The Governor’s plan gives most of the benefit to the very wealthy and leaves a $300 million hole in the state budget, cutting school funding in half in the next four years. Maine’s tax system is rigged for those at the very top. The Governor’s plan makes it worse. Our plan makes it better.”

    Governor LePage’s plan gives the largest tax cuts to Maine’s wealthiest residents. It gives 50 percent of income tax cuts to the top 10 percent. Under the Better Deal for Maine, 98 percent of income tax relief goes to the bottom 95 percent.

    “Today’s analysis by this well-respected, nonpartisan group confirms that across the board, the Better Deal plan beats the LePage plan in middle class economics,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “Our plan ensures more Mainers can keep more of their hard-earned money. It decreases the tax burden on Maine’s working and middle-income earners while asking the wealthy, corporations, and out-of-staters to pay their share.”

    The distributional analysis shows that middle and low income families will see a greater overall tax benefit under the Better Deal for Maine compared with the Governor’s plan:

     

    • Under the Better Deal for Maine, individuals with an average income of $47,000 will see an average tax cut of $191, compared to the LePage plan where they will see an overall average tax cut of $24.
    • Under the Better Deal for Maine, individuals with an average income of $72,000 will see an average cut of $169, compared to the LePage plan where they will see an overall average tax cut of $93.
    • Under the Better Deal for Maine, individuals with an average income of $29,000 will see an average tax cut of $195, compared to the LePage plan where they will see an average tax increase of $4.
    • Under the Better Deal for Maine, individuals with an average income of $838,000 will pay, on average, $3,582 more, compared to the LePage plan where they will see an overall average tax cut of $7,546.

      

    Last week, Democratic leaders unveiled the Better Deal for Maine, which prioritizes tax cuts for the middle class, lowers property taxes for all Maine homeowners and invests in Maine schools, workers and communities by asking the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share. It grows the economy from the middle out, not the top down.

    Even a Bangor Daily News editorial said the Democratic tax plan was better for Maine.