PRESS RELEASE: LePage Tax Bill siphons revenue from Maine’s future to pay for benefits to profitable businesses and wealthy households

AUGUSTA, Maine – Gov. Paul LePage’s administration on Thursday unveiled the governor’s tax conformity bill – an $88.2 million proposal to adopt portions of the Trump Tax Plan at the state level, as well as entirely new reforms tilted toward the most powerful. 

The LePage Tax Bill includes several provisions pulled directly from the Trump Tax Plan, including a tax break that will give heirs to the wealthiest estates in Maine a $22 million free pass from paying their fair share of the estate tax. Additional giveaways pulled from the federal tax bill include a plan to provide profitable corporations and pass-through entities a roughly $35 million tax break through “accelerated depreciation” – a loophole that allows businesses to make themselves appear less valuable than they truly are to lower their taxes. 

The bill does nothing for low-income Mainers. One in five Maine households earns less than $23,000 per year, and those families will gain nothing from nonrefundable tax credits pitched by Gov. LePage as a benefit for Maine families. Meanwhile, wealthier Mainers will benefit from other changes, such as revisions to the standard and itemized deductions. 

MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin released the following statement:

“MECEP will spend the next few days looking under the hood of the LePage Tax Bill to determine its full impact on Maine families, jobs and the economy. But there are a few things that are already clear:

“First, the governor is doubling down on failed tax breaks for profitable businesses and millionaires. These tax breaks don’t create jobs or boost the economy. They simply divert public resources away from the public needs to pad profits for corporations, pass-through entities and millionaires — the same special interests who are already reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks from the Trump Tax Plan.

“Second, the LePage Tax Plan sets the stage for a long-term reduction of public resources available to invest in things that are proven to support economic growth and shared, sustained prosperity. 

“With adequate revenue, Maine can fully fund public education for the first time ever. It can create a top-tier infrastructure of roads, bridges and broadband for Maine’s families and businesses. It can save Maine lives by addressing the opioid crisis, and give children the fair chance they deserve by rolling back Maine’s out-of-control childhood hunger rate. But eliminating the top corporate tax rate, just one example of the counterproductive provisions in the LePage Tax Bill , would take Maine’s legs out from underneath us by gutting public revenue for years to come.

“Legislators have a choice between a fiscal future in which we have the tools we need to improve Mainers’ lives and the economy, or one in which valuable public resources have been taken off the table to pay for yet another round unnecessary tax breaks.”