New analysis: House tax legislation increases benefits for Maine’s richest 1 percent over time

November 6, 2017

“If this were a genuine effort to boost the middle class, Congress would be proposing a $1.5 trillion package to take on student debt, create good jobs with good benefits, or invest in modern infrastructure to give American businesses a competitive edge. Instead, this legislation is a tax plan laser-focused on huge giveaways to the nation’s highest earning households and corporations that will jeopardize funding for health, education, and infrastructure,” said Sarah Austin, policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic policy.

AUGUSTA, MAINE (November 6, 2017) – A 50-state analysis of the US House of Representatives’ tax legislation released today reveals that the wealthiest 1 percent of Maine families will receive an outsized share of the total tax cut in year one and their share would grow through 2027. For every income group in Maine except the very richest, the value of the tax cut would decline over time. And 17 percent of Maine families would see a tax increase by 2027.

This lop-sided tax legislation is estimated to cost $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.

“If this were a genuine effort to boost the middle class, Congress would be proposing a $1.5 trillion package to take on student debt, create good jobs with good benefits, or invest in modern infrastructure to give American businesses a competitive edge. Instead, this legislation is a tax plan laser-focused on huge giveaways to the nation’s highest earning households and corporations that will jeopardize funding for health, education, and infrastructure,” said Sarah Austin, policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic policy.

Over time, the tax legislation would increase the portion of benefits delivered to the wealthiest Mainers. This is because as the legislation adds new tax breaks targeted toward the wealthy over time, tax cuts for low- and middle-income families are eliminated or lessen in value. For example, after five years, the bill eliminates a $300 non-child dependent credit that benefits low- and middle-income families while fully repealing the estate tax in year six for the wealthiest 0.2 percent of estates subject to the tax.

More specifically, this 10-year outlook reveals that by 2027, the top 1 percent of Maine households’ share of the tax cut would increase from 18 percent in year one to 28 percent by 2027, for an average cut of $32,760. Middle-income taxpayers’ average tax break would erode to $610 from $730, and the poorest 20 percent’s tax cut would average only $100.

 “This bill reflects misplaced priorities and missed opportunities for working families and seniors. While some families get a tax cut, others do not, and ultimately the primary beneficiaries are the richest individuals and corporations across the nation and in Maine, not the middle class,” added Austin.  

To read the entire report or get more details about Maine, go to http://itep.org/housetaxplan

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