Lawmakers approve tax conformity bill, send it to LePage

The Maine Center for Economic Policy, an Augusta-based nonprofit, characterized the enacted bill as a compromise, stating in a news release that it “splits the difference” between “legislative Republicans, who backed Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to replicate President Trump and congressional Republicans’ tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable businesses, and Democrats, who proposed policies to benefit low- and middle-income families.”

“The compromise contains elements of the Trump tax plan, but it rejects the worst policies proposed in Gov. Paul LePage’s tax conformity bill — including expanded tax breaks for Maine’s wealthiest estates, loopholes for businesses that make out-of-state investments, and giveaways to the state’s largest profitable corporations,” MECEP stated. “At the same time, it expands the Property Tax Fairness Credit — a vital, income-based property tax relief program for Maine homeowners and renters.”

MECEP stated that the legislation will cost $26.8 million in this budget cycle — less than either the governor’s or the Democrats’ initial offerings.

“In the face of tremendous pressure to simply revise the state tax code to reflect the lopsided rewrite of federal tax law, Maine’s legislators opted to chart their own course,” MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin said in the release. “They rejected the worst policies handed down by Congress and proposed by the governor. And while the bill still contains some unnecessary and ineffective tax breaks for profitable businesses, the inclusion of an expanded Property Tax Fairness Credit will make a real difference for some of the low- and moderate-income Mainers left behind by the Trump tax cut.”

Martin added: “The Legislature also provided a meaningful lesson to future elected officials: No tax policy decision is a fait accompli. Maine always has a choice, and we should do whatever we can to ensure Maine’s tax code works for the communities and families of our state.”

Click here to read the full story, posted August 31 in MaineBiz.