Impact of US deficit cuts unknown in Maine

Posted Nov. 21, 2011, at 9:43 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 21, 2011, at 1 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Revenue officials in Maine say it’s much too early to say what federal deficit-reduction efforts will mean in the state.

The issue came up Monday as the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee got an update on state revenues amid a stubbornly slow economy.

At the same time, the deficit-reduction supercommittee in Washington failed to find at least $1.2 trillion in savings over the coming decade, triggering about $1 trillion over nine years in automatic across-the-board spending cuts.

But chief state economic forecaster Michael Allen says that what those cuts will mean in Maine is unknown.

He says the cuts would be at least a year off, and revenue forecasters don’t look that far into the future. And the cuts could entail “a thousand different scenarios” involving possible program reductions or tax increases.