Currently showing posts tagged Taxes in Maine

  • Maine House, Senate set to vote on bipartisan budget deal on June 16th

    By Ramona du Houx

    Democratic and Republican legislative leaders on the evening of June 15th announced a bipartisan budget agreement that will prevent a shutdown of state government.

    Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo said, “I believe this budget has something for everyone in Maine. We were sent here to represent them, and I am pleased that we were able to lower their tax burden while at the same time take steps to keep property taxes in check and fund vital state services," said Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo. 

    The agreement includes tax cuts, investment in students and workers, property tax relief, and welfare reform. The House and Senate will take up the Appropriations budget bill Tuesday morning, offering House floor amendments to reflect the bipartisan agreement.

    “In divided government, compromise is the only option, ” said Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick. “I'm pleased we've reached an agreement that will grow our economy and improve the lives of Maine families. While no one in our negotiations got everything they wanted, we worked hard to deliver progress for the people of Maine.”

    Compromise is never easy but this is how governing works. In Maine, we can see beyond our differences and find areas of mutual agreement to move our state forward,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “This budget invests in our youngest and our oldest, our workers and our retirees, and provides a meaningful tax cut to all Mainers."

    The four leaders have been meeting and working toward agreement since the state’s budget writing committee reported out a budget on June 5.

    “After weeks of tough negotiations we have reached an agreement that we feel moves Maine forward,” said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport.  

  • The Appropriations Committee’s Public Hearing Schedule for LePage’s Proposed State Budget that hits the middle class hard

    By Ramona du Houx

    The overall outcome of Governor LePage’s tax portion of his proposed two-year state budget, if passed as it is, would place an unfair burden on the middle class, while the top 2 percent of wealthy Maine taxpayers would see a dramatic tax cut. At the same time towns accross Maine will most likely have to increase property taxes to make up for the state cutting off revenue sharing. Small towns don't have large non-profits to levy a property tax on, as LePage wants, so they most likely will be forced to cut services or increase property taxes.

    The centerpiece ofs his so called "tax reform" proposal includes: 

    •Eliminating municipal revenue sharing- (no more funding from the state to towns)
    •Doubling the Homestead property tax exemption for homeowners at least 65 years of age
    •But eliminating the Homestead property tax exemption for all other homeowners
    •Imposing a property tax on non-profit institutions over $500,000 in value
    •Transferring two-way telecommunications property from state to municipal taxing jurisdiction
    •Shifting all taxable property in the BETR program to tax exempt status in the BETE program
    •Reducing personal and corporate income tax rates and phasing out the estate tax
    •Expanding the state’s sales tax base to include a wide ranges of services 
    •Increasing the general sales tax rate to 6.5 percent

    The Appropriations Committee has scheduled the public hearings on many of the municipally-related taxation-related proposals for next week.

    The proposal to eliminate municipal revenue sharing is scheduled for public hearing on Wednesday next week (February 18th). The public hearings on the proposals related to the homestead property tax exemption, taxing exempt institutions, the BETR-to-BETE conversion, and the tax jurisdiction of telecommunications property are scheduled for Thursday next week (February 19th).

    Municipal officials are urged to attend these public hearings for the purpose of providing information to our lawmakers about the impacts of the Governor’s proposals on your community.