AUGUSTA – The Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation held a public hearing the LD 1655, the LePage Administration tax ‘conformity’ proposal. A wholesale acceptance of the Republican rewrite of the federal tax code at the state level would have negative consequences on working families, including a $236 million dollar tax increase on Mainers.
While the LePage proposal is framed as simple conformity with federal law, it actually goes much further than routine and technical updates to Maine’s own tax code, according to analysis from the Maine Center for Economic Policy. The LePage Tax Bill costs $88 million over the remainder of the current two-year budget cycle, and $115 million over the next biennium. The governor’s proposal prioritizes tax breaks for the very businesses and wealthy families that have already benefited from generous federal tax cuts and offers little to hard-working low and moderate-income Mainers.
Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement:
“The Maine Legislature has purposefully created a tax structure designed to provide and maximize financial benefit to working families. We will not accept any proposal that could jeopardize our economic recovery or working families. There is no requirement for Maine to automatically conform with any proposal from the federal government or this Administration. What we learned today is that the current proposal cuts taxes for the wealthiest, while leaving working Mainers behind. It comes with a price tag of nearly $90 million dollars, and it irresponsibly raids state coffers at a time we are seeing a systemic breakdown across nearly every department. Democrats will only support a tax conformity package that will grow and strengthen the middle class, while addressing the significant challenges facing our state.”