Under LePage plan, top earners will get $10,000 in tax breaks, while middle income families will receive $145. Photo state Capitol by Ramona du Houx
Mainers making more than $400,000 will get a huge tax break by the time Governor Paul LePage’s budget goes into full effect in 2019, according to a new state analysis released Monday from the Maine Revenue Services.
The analysis shows Mainers earning $40,000 will receive $145 per year by 2019, while those making $400,000 will receive $10,679.
Top Democrats on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee said the report confirmed concerns about the Governor’s proposal, which also gives $118 million in tax breaks to corporations in the next four years.
“No politician should defend giving $10,000 to people who make more than $400,000 per year while working families send their kids to school hungry and seniors can’t afford their prescription drugs,” said Rep. Adam Goode, the House Chair of the Taxation Committee. “It’s a matter of fairness.”
Goode added, “Maine families deserve a better deal. We can’t afford tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, while investment in our people, our schools and our economy suffer.”
Gov. LePage’s budget would result in a $48 million tax shift onto property taxpayers and communities to fund K-12 education, a likely increase in tuition at the community college, and the elimination of $4 million in funding for pre-K. The Governor’s budget will leave a $300 million hole in the state’s coffers starting in 2018. Similar proposals from Republican governors in Kansas and Louisiana have resulted in deep cuts to education.
“Today’s data confirms the cold, hard truth about Gov. LePage’s budget and who actually prospers under his plan,” said Phil Bartlett, chair of MDP. “The wealthiest Mainers will receive huge tax breaks, while middle class families will see little relief. His budget priorities don’t reflect Maine values, or give working Mainers a shot at a better future. We need a budget that is fair to all working families. Driving up property taxes to give huge tax cuts to the wealthy few is simply unfair.”
The report from Maine Revenue Services combines the cumulative impact of income, sales and property tax changes in it’s analysis. It does not include the elimination of revenue sharing in 2017. (See MRS chart, Table 7.)