Every two years, Maine’s legislature writes a budget that sets the course for how we invest in Maine people and communities and grow our economy. This year, Governor LePage has submitted a budget proposal that continues to shortchange Maine’s students and communities while doubling down on tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations. The centerpiece of the governor’s budget is an upside-down tax plan that gives a $22,650 average tax cut to the top 1 percent while increasing taxes on average for the 80 percent of Maine families who make less than $92,000 annually. Under the governor’s plan, tax increases on most Mainers won’t pay for better schools, better roads or better jobs. Instead, the governor uses these tax hikes to pay for more massive tax breaks for Maine’s wealthiest residents. MECEP is working to educate legislators about the dangers of the LePage budget, and to set out our vision of a budget that works for everyone. Here’s how you can help:
Maine Lawmakers Need to Hear from You!!!
CONTACT your legislator to voice opposition to the governor’s budget proposal. The governor’s proposed budget effectively ignores the will of the voters who passed Question 2 in November to increase funding for K-12 schools. Together with the governor’s proposed changes to income, sales, and estate taxes, these will reduce funding for schools and other services that help Maine people and communities thrive while giving HUGE tax cuts to wealthy Mainers and raising taxes on families making less than $92,000 when combined with the proposed repeal of the Homestead Exemption (see below).
For more information on the importance of the budget process and its role in building a strong economy that works for everyone see our brief on Making the Most of Maine’s Budget and our recent op-ed highlighting the flaws of Governor LePage’s budget proposal and the need to pursue a different path when it comes to creating jobs, paying it forward for future generations of Maine workers, and promoting thriving communities.
Protect Tax Fairness
CONTACT the taxation committee to voice opposition to legislators’ proposals to undo the will of Maine voters and roll back the 3% surcharge on incomes over $200,000. This proposal will deprive our schools of $151 million in order to benefit the wealthiest 2% of Mainers. The public hearing for several bills seeking to undo November’s ballot initiative will take place Monday, March 20:
- Talking points concerning the impact of the roll back of tax fairness
- MECEP Guide to Testifying on this important issue
- Read MECEP’s explanation of the governor’s wrongheaded analysis of the effects of an income tax increase.
- Read MECEP’s report on the value of additional money for Maine schools.
Protect the Homestead Exemption
CONTACT your legislator to voice opposition to the governor’s to repeal the homestead exemption for Maine homeowners under age 65. This proposal will raise property taxes for over 210,000 families by approximately $300 a year. The public hearing for this proposal took place on Monday, February 6th:
- Talking points concerning the impact of the repeal of the homestead exemption
- MECEP’s quick summary and issue brief on the impacts of this proposal including a town by town list of level of increase and number of homeowners affected
- Interactive map depicting impacts by town