New MECEP policy briefs give state candidates a roadmap toward success in the next budget

As campaigns for governor and state legislative seats swing into high gear, one thing is certain: The winners of this fall’s elections need to be able to hit the ground running when the election is over.

To help candidates prepare to build the next state budget, MECEP has produced three new policy briefs, titled “Fiscal Policy Foundations.” The papers examine the connection between budget-busting tax cuts enacted during Gov. Paul LePage’s two terms in office; the ongoing difficulty the state has had in meeting its core commitments in education, health care and local services; and increasing property taxes.

The policy briefs have been mailed to all 397 candidates for the Maine Legislature and governor. Together, they provide a clear-eyed understanding of Maine’s current budget challenges, the decisions that have created shortfalls and solutions to improve the state budget with policies that work for Maine people.

Tax cuts enacted during Gov. Paul LePage’s two terms will cost the state $864 million in the next biennium. That foregone revenue would be more than enough to fund the additional $643.5 million appropriation necessary to fully fund public K-12 education, health care for 70,000 Mainers and the state’s contribution to local services such and public safety, road maintenance and water treatment. Fulfilling those obligations would also reduce upward pressure on property taxes.

The Fiscal Policy Foundations examine the tax changes enacted during the LePage administration that have tilted the tax code in favor of the wealthiest households and businesses and made it harder for the state for fund its core commitments to families and communities. Each brief offers solutions to re-balance Maine’s tax code to pay for the services and investments that allow communities to thrive.

The Fiscal Policy Foundations may be accessed at the following links: