The idea was to give more money back to Mainers, but getting rid of the income tax entirely has met resistance from fellow Republicans in the past. And the move had painful effects on the state’s revenues, something Garrett Martin, the president and CEO of the liberal-leaning Maine Center for Economic Policy, said hampered the state’s ability to recover from the recession in the long run.
That was compounded by LePage’s resistance to expanding Medicaid in the state, even after a people’s referendum required him to do so, and a budget where lawmakers did not include matching funds for low-income children’s health. That left behind nearly $2 billion in federal money the state could have used to help pay for lower-income health care needs while paying its bills, Martin said.
“He did nothing to actually counter what was happening in the economy more broadly,” he said.