Policy Brief: To address wealth inequality, Maine must strengthen its estate tax

More and more of society’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few families. At the same time, taxes that target the wealthy have been slashed, making it harder for the state to fund investments that help all families prosper — not just those at the top.

In Maine, the most targeted wealth tax is the estate tax, which is weaker today than it’s ever been. Decades of policy decisions have excluded more and more high-wealth estates from the tax. These cuts have accelerated the growth of wealth inequality and perpetuated the divide across generations. The wealthiest continue to grow ever wealthier, while those at the bottom have even less today than they did three decades ago.

This year, Maine’s legislators can address inequality head-on by enacting LD 420, a bill to roll back tax cuts so that the estate tax targets more of the wealth that has concentrated at the top. The bill would secure $14 million of much-needed resources to invest in public schools, health care, infrastructure and public services that build opportunity for poor and middle-class Mainers.

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