Augusta, Maine (Friday, January 11, 2013) “The great tax shift is on and thousands of Maine families can expect their property tax bills to skyrocket if Governor LePage’s proposed budget is approved.” Garrett Martin, Executive Director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) said today. “The budget Governor LePage presented to the 126th Legislature shifts significant costs to towns and property tax payers.”
Martin based his comments on MECEP analysis of the impact from the Governor’s proposal to flat fund the state share of K-12 education and to shift almost $200 million in costs for public safety, road maintenance, and other basic services to towns and property tax payers. Click here for MECEP’s town by town analysis of the tax shifts attributed to proposed revenue sharing cuts.
“The budget also directly increases property taxes for 75,000 households by an average of $462, and as much as $1,600 for some households. At the same time, income taxes will go up for families who can least afford it because of proposed changes to income tax brackets,” Martin said.
“There’s no question that we face significant budget challenges. The Governor’s proposal is a step in the wrong direction,” Martin said. “The priority should be on restoring tax fairness and making critical investments in education, health care, and other services that are important to the middle class and families trying to get there.”
Yesterday, MECEP released “Revenue Collapse Creates Budget Gap: Maine’s Budget Challenges Are Due to the Recession and Recent Tax Cuts,” analysis which found that “the recent recession and tax cuts enacted over the past two years are responsible for the $881 million budget gap over the two-year budget cycle that begins July 1, 2013. As budget negotiations begin, lawmakers should keep this fact in mind. Fiscal responsibility means making sure Maine has the revenue it needs to build the foundations of a strong, resilient economy.”