A Democratically sponsored plan to lower Maine’s top income tax rate from 8.5 percent
to 6.5 percent while applying the existing 5 percent sales tax to more transactions
(movies, camping, auto repairs) and raising the lodging tax may be on the governor’s desk
by the time you read this. Whether or not this proposal passes – proponents say most
Mainers would pay less in state taxes – the question is whether the current system is
broken or not. Maine has one of the narrowest sales tax bases, and one of the lowest sales
tax rates. Is this what has to change? Or should Maine exact more in income tax from
high-wage earners? Or is there another scheme to more equitably distribute the burden?