MECEP Policy Brief: Comparing the Democratic and GOP tax bills


Because of the federal tax overhaul spearheaded by President Trump and Congressional Republicans, the Maine Legislature is considering two competing proposals to change its own tax code. Lawmakers face a stark choice: Will Maine double down on the lopsided tax policy set at the federal level, which favors those at the top at the expense of most Maine households? Or, will the state take steps toward rebalancing the tax code and protecting the resources needed to support thriving communities?

Maine’s legislative Republicans, following in the footsteps of the Republican Congress, want to go down the path that favors the few at the expense of the many. Their plan would give Maine’s wealthiest families and most profitable businesses even more benefits, on top of those they’ll already claim under the new federal law.

In contrast, a plan supported by Maine’s legislative Democrats seeks to rebalance the ledger. It expands tax credits for low- and middle-income working families and increases property tax relief for homeowners and renters. The profitable businesses and wealthy families scheduled to reap massive rewards from the federal tax law are held harmless by the Democrats’ plan. They will still receive a large tax cut from the federal government and would see no increase to their overall income taxes.

The Democrats’ plan also carries a smaller price tag than the Republican proposal — $51.5 million versus $89 million. Despite the lower cost, it does more good for more Mainers, and — perhaps most importantly — will focus its benefits on those left behind by the federal tax overhaul.

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