Constitutionality of new Maine tax law questioned

Posted Sept. 16, 2009, at 2:18 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A conservative public policy group says Maine’s new tax law is unconstitutional.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center says people moving into or out of the state, as well as out-of-staters who work in Maine, could end up paying thousands of dollars more in income taxes than full-time residents under the tax overhaul passed by state lawmakers this year.

The center’s CEO, Tarren Bragdon, said the law replaces income tax deductions and exemptions with a new “household tax credit” that applies to full-time residents only.

Bragdon said Wednesday the center is prepared to sue on constitutional grounds, but that depends on the outcome of a people’s veto effort to overturn the changes. More than 60,000 signatures have been submitted to state election officials seeking a referendum next June.