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  • Maine forth in nation for property tax burden - in top five for highest overall tax burden

    By Ramona du Houx

    A report released April 9, 2019 by the personal-finance website WalletHub shows Maine as having the third highest overall tax burden of the 50 states, and the forth higest property tax burden. With 1.3 million people, of whom live well below the American average income of 50K, for most of the nation it would be hard to see how Maniers meet needs.

    WalletHub's 2018 Tax Burden by State report compared the 50 states according to their property taxes, individual taxes and sales and excise taxes as a share of total personal income. Unlike tax rates, which vary widely based on an individual's circumstances, tax burden measures the proportion of total personal income that residents pay toward state and local taxes.

    Here's how Maine ranked in those tax burden comparisons (1=Highest, 25=Average):

    • 3rd — Overall tax burden (11.02%)
    • 4th — Property tax burden (4.80%)
    • 15th — Individual income tax burden (2.69%)
    • 24th — Total sales and excise tax burden (3.53%).

    New York has the highest overall tax burden at 13.04%, while Alaska, at 4.94%, had the lowest, according to WalletHub's report.

    Only New Hampshire (1), Vermont (2) and New Jersey (3) ranked higher than Maine in the property tax burden comparison.

    he primary reason that the tax burden went up during the Lepage Administration is because the State took money from middle class homeowners by cutting revenue sharing - mainly education and giving it to the wealthiest 1 percent. Tax reform for middle class families should mean tax relief.

    Under the Baldacci Administration the average mil rate was $12.78. Under the LePage adminstration they went up to $15.64.

    Here are figures from the Maine Center for Economic Policy from 2015 showing the dramatic rise in property taxes because of the cuts by Lepage policies to all of Maine's 400 + municipalities:

    Facts & Figures

    • $23,000 – Average tax cut for Top 1 percent under LePage budget
    • 80 percent - of Maine families seeing a tax increase under LePage budget
    • $15.64 – Average mil rate for Maine communities in 2015
    • $12.78 – Average mil rate for Maine communities in 2010
    • $1,000,000,000 – Amount of property taxes needed to compensate for state underfunding local education, since 2011
    • 69 percent –  of homeowners in Maine below the age of 65
    • 213,000 – Number of homeowners losing their Homestead Exemption under LePage budget
    • $313 – Average property tax reduction from the Homestead Exemption.