State could make even greater progress if policymakers addressed persistent revenue challenges
AUGUSTA, Maine — Garrett Martin, executive director of Maine Center for Economic Policy, released the following statement in reaction to the supplemental budget released today by Gov. Janet Mills:
“The additional resources for education and the governor’s focus on infrastructure and public services demonstrate that Gov. Mills knows what Maine communities and families need to thrive. Good schools, safe and reliable infrastructure, and a robust safety net all contribute to greater economic security for low- and middle-income Mainers.
“While the supplemental budget makes moves in the right direction, persistent revenue challenges continue to hold the state back. Income tax cuts enacted in the past decade will cost our state $432 million this year, with most of the benefit going to the wealthiest households. Those tax cuts make it harder to meet our core commitments to families and our communities, as seen in our underfunded schools and local services. Meanwhile, gas tax cuts enacted in 2011 have stretched our budget for road and bridge maintenance so thin that for the first time in recent memory, this budget proposes allocating general fund money to fill in the holes in the Highway Fund.
“As legislators consider Gov. Mills’ budget proposal, MECEP encourages them to keep new revenue on the table. Repealing tax cuts for the wealthiest would free up the resources necessary to build opportunity for all Mainers.”