Final budget marks gains in property tax relief, healthcare, but fails to un-rig tax code


“Reversing LePage-era tax cuts for the wealthiest would have put budget negotiators in a position to fully fund, for the first time ever, our children’s schools and the local services upon which families and businesses rely,” Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), said in a statement. “While this budget moves in the right direction, it’s failure to un-rig our tax code means these core commitments will remain underfunded.”

MECEP, which released its own “prosperity budget” earlier this year as a guidepost for how lawmakers could prioritize public investment, advocated for repealing LePage’s tax cuts, which are expected to reduce state revenue by $864 million over the next two years.

MECEP is also advocating for funding an expanded and modernized Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income Mainers. The improved EITC passed out of the Tax Committee with bipartisan support, but was not included in the budget deal.

“Maine’s budget negotiations are a perpetual challenge because of lopsided tax cuts that rob the state of the resources we need to invest in our schools, our communities, and other priorities that support our economy,” Martin said.

Click here to read the full story, first published on June 15, 2019, in Beacon.