Road Map to the State’s Budget: MECEP’s Annual Revenue & Spending Primer Published

Augusta – The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) released its Annual Revenue & Spending Primer, a roadmap to state, municipal and county government revenues and expenses, just in time for this year’s budget discussions. The state faces a projected $140 million shortfall in the current fiscal year and a shortfall of over $800 million in the next biennium, making the budget most assuredly the top item for discussion at the legislature. Determining ways to close these gaps will require analyzing both the revenue generating and spending sides of the Maine budget equation.

For several years MECEP has been publishing this primer as a valuable, credible, easy-to-use resource for legislators, government officials, business leaders, media outlets, advocacy groups and concerned citizens and taxpayers.  The primer provides, in one place, a simple, graphic overview of the state’s current revenues and expenditures.
“In light of the projected budget deficits, we hope the Maine Revenue & Spending Primer will be relied upon to provide a factual, logical overview of fiscal policy and assist legislators in their difficult deliberations,” states Christopher St. John, Executive Director of MECEP.
Some highlights from this year’s primer:
•    Maine receives over one-third of its revenue (36%) from the federal government. Municipal governments receive a third of their revenue (32%) from the state.

•    Maine’s total state spending has grown more slowly than statewide growth in personal income over the last 4 years.

•    K-12 education, along with health and human services and mental health services account for 71% of General Fund spending.

•    Maine’s lowest income households have the highest effective tax rate (14.6%) versus Maine’s wealthiest households (9.0%), as a higher percentage of their income is spent on sales, excise, and property taxes.

 The primer summarizes the most current data available and was written by Kurt Wise, the state fiscal analyst at MECEP.

To download the Report:  Maine Revenue & Spending Primer 2008

To view color graphs & charts:  Select Charts from right side of screen
To discuss the information in this report, please contact Christopher St. John or Kurt Wise at 622-7381.

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