Comments for: Maine Senate approves tax relief bill

Posted March 19, 2012, at 5:21 p.m.

AUGUSTA | The Maine Senate on Monday passed an amended bill that would use any surplus revenue in the state’s general fund to gradually reduce state income tax rates through future budgets. Republicans said the bill, which first would increase the size of the top income tax bracket and …

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  • Guest

    One word…… MUMBOJUMBO

  • Anonymous

    MR. Russell–can you tell me who is included in the “top 20%” of Maine taxpayers? It is an interesting fact to know in a story such as this.

  • StillRelaxin

    LePage’s desire to have zero “Personal Income Tax” sounds great right?  Well, until your property taxes take a sharp turn where you’d expect them to go…skyrocketing straight up and you finally figure out that the only one’s paying taxes are those who own property.

    • Anonymous

      Spending must be cut.

      • Anonymous

        I would reply to StillRelaxin however I dont think he or she could step aside from his partisan views. Thus I will respond to you.

        Property Taxes in Maine are kept low at an artificial number. Our towns, cities and the schools and services in them at the local and county levels are funded heavily by the state. The State collects this money in tax revenue, fees and license costs. Then some of that money is ¨rebated¨to the towns and counties to fund operations.

        However we have seen that the State, although they take in large amounts of revenue, cannot adequately return money to towns to fund local programs such as schools or other things like road paving and a host of other things.

        I would rather pay a higher property tax if the overall State Tax burden on the individual went down. Then in many ways those tax dollars could stay local and be used in a more ¨transparent way¨.  

        Keep that money in your own town. Go to town meeting or city council meetings where you can speak and be heard. And then if you dont like the way your money is spent in the town you only have three or four people to vote out instead of 30, 40 or more.

        Sending your dollars to Augusta is like letting a balloon loose over Cadillac Mountain. Who knows where both will end up? 

        • so you’re fine with paying for the share now paid by non-property owners. how big of you.

          • Anonymous

            I said I would be happy paying a higher property tax rate if the overall State Tax Burden on the individual went down. My reasoning for this is that dollars would not travel to Augusta to never be seen again. I believe that those dollars could be managed much better on the local level.
            Individual means people that live in Maine and have to not only state income tax but also other revenue collecting taxes.
            I didnt say I supported the State Income Tax going away. I do support lowering it however.
            Of course there are people who live in Maine that dont own property as they rent but in that case someone is still paying a property tax. So by non property owners I am assuming you mean out of state visitors.
            We currently collect sales tax, rooms and meals tax and other tax revenue from out of state visitors or non property owners. Im not suggesting that we stop doing so.
            What percentage of State Revenue comes from out of State Visitors or non property holders? If overall state income tax was lowered for residents and property taxes were raised would the state still receive enough revenue to operate on a more reduced level? Im thinking that it is worth looking at.

          • Anonymous

            Who do you suppose pays for Northern Maine Community College, University of Maine at Presque Isle, Aroostook County Superior and District Court, Presque Isle High School, Presque Isle Grammer School……? 

            Do you think it’s Presque Isle property tax payers?

            No.  It’s Cape Elizabeth income tax payers, that’s who.

            If the income tax is eliminated, let’s just also eliminate Presque Isle, Eastport, Fort Kent, Calais, ………

          • Anonymous

            Its all tax payers in fact. Everyone contributes something. I not only pay for Trenton Elementary School and MDIHS but also Ellsworth, Dexter and Fryeburg. And the summer tourist from Alaska or Japan contributes to it too.

            Your question in turn raises a question. How is it that Northern Maine Community College cannot operate completely on what it brings in on tuition revenue. Does it support a level of students that makes sense? Are we trying to operate to many community colleges?

            Perhaps we cant fund Aroostook County Superior Court as we are paying people to take methadone?

            This could be a long conversation.

            I did not suggest eliminating the income tax and this is not what this article is about. I do suggest lowering it and allowing the towns to fund themselves mostly from property taxes instead of being very dependant on State Funds.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll be glad to send you my property tax bill when it goes up. You are so willing to have them increased. My sister lives in NH and I’d rather pay my property tax , income tax, and sales tax combined than pay her property tax bill which is over $7000 on a moderate house.

          • Anonymous

            Where your sister lives must be taken into consideration. Does she live in Southern NH or a place like Colebrook or Pittsburg, NH. Everything from Whitefield on down and border to border with ME and NH is developed, high property value area. Put your sisters house in a similar Maine town and would the value of her house be the same?

            How much does your sister pay in income tax? In Sales Tax? Your sister pays 13 cents(rounded off) less in state gasoline tax than you do. If she smokes she pays 25 cents less per pack in tax.

            Your sister pays a fixed rate of 5% on investment income no matter how much she makes after that income crosses 2500 dollars. She wouldnt get that deal in Maine.

            Your sister enjoys lower electricty, phone, heating fuel, car insurance, life insurance and medical insurance rates than you do in Maine.

            There are more State Troopers to ensure public safety in New Hampshire than in Maine. New Hampshire has a state run hospital that is secured with members of the New Hampshire State Police. Dix in Bangor does not have that.

            Roads in New Hampshire are in better repair in New Hampshire. Your sister lives in a state that has better infrastructure than Maine does.

            And how does income in New Hampshire compare to income in Maine?

          • Anonymous

            no the rich would do what poliquin did fraud. why dont we ivestigate that as well as everything else

          • Anonymous

            I would suggest that SalArg makes a very good point in his post. However I think SalArg would also agree that certain things would have to be investigated and either repaired or eliminated with Tree Growth being one of them.

          • Anonymous

            The failed, unethical strategy in the last administration to “export” taxes onto people who can’t vote was thoroughly bankrupt — economically, politically and morally.  It doesn’t need to be looked at again except to stop it the next time it is tried.

          • Anonymous

            Most, not all of the non-property owners are also drawing on M-care, food stamps and getting free rent. We’re going to pay their share no matter how you look at.

          • Anonymous

            And where do you get these assumptions? I know many people who are renting and receive no benefits. They rent because the can’t afford to buy or prefer not to have the upkeep and maintenance required with owning. This is a totally absurd statement.

          • Anonymous

            what percentage of Maine’s income taxes do ‘they’ pay?

          • Anonymous

            I have no idea. “They” could pay more that you or I do. It’s the assumption that just because they rent they are receiving benefits that absurd.

          • Anonymous

            A person renting a 600 dollar per month apartment would be able to afford a 125000 to 130000 dollar home in the Hancock County Area.

            That being said there are people who rent that do not collect from state programs.

          • Anonymous

            Totally absurd is absolutely correct. But then most post from her are.

          • Anonymous

            If the spending continues that would be true, but a further shift onto property owners would exacerbate an already unjust discrimination — for property owners in general and especially for those being taxed the most now, which would be disproportionately magnified.

          •  Renters pay property tax through their rent payments – at least they do if the property owner has some clue about how real estate works – and I guess most of them do, despite how much they whine.

          • Anonymous

            ah yes, and what percentage share would that be….do you even know?

        • Anonymous

          There is a lot of important truth in that, but there a couple of other very important points. 

          One is that much of the costs of town government are mandated by the state, and the other is the way property taxes discriminate inequitably against property owners by making those who own property pay for the costs of town government — mostly schools — that have no relation to their property.  This is especially the case for owners of undeveloped land and land that is valuable because of where it is rather than what it is, like on the waterfront, and business owners already paying for schools and a lot more where they own a residence.

          These injustices must be addressed in addition to cutting state taxes and spending.  The problem of high property taxes punishing people and driving them off their own property must be addressed, and we aren’t seeing that.

          • Anonymous

            Spell out exactly what kinds of local services you want to eliminate to implement your cutting plan.  Education?  Water and sewer?  Fire and ambulance?  Police?  Roads and sidewalks?  Public parks and recreation?  What?  Please be very specific.

          • Anonymous

            If those are local services then how is it that we have become so dependant on the State to fund them?

          • Anonymous

            The failed government monopoly destroying education and freedom of choice while imposing bloated costs is a good place to start.  Water and sewer (where they are provided at all) are commonly paid by fees for use.  “Recreation” should be.  Most of the rest that you listed are not the cause of the problem and have little or nothing to do with state government spending and the bureaucratic costs it imposes.

          •  Defined benefit pension plans being terminated would save this State and the localities billions and billions of dollars.  I would want to cut that and go over to social security and a 401k plan and please, do not tell me social security is more expensive.  The reason it is is because Maine chooses not to fund its pension liability. 

          • So property owners that do not have children in the public schools should not pay taxes to support those schools?

          • Anonymous

            In some states they are exempt from paying the part of their property tax that is used to fund the school. Other states have reduced rates. New York does this. Maine does neither of the two.

          • Anonymous

            No Gerald, people who do not use or want to support the failed government school monopoly should not be forced to pay for it, over and over and over at increasing amounts everywhere they ever happen to own property.

      • Anonymous

        Please explain in detail exactly what you would cut.

        • Anonymous

          The line by line “detail” is irrelevant to the principle.  It is not a matter of what I “would like” to see cut, we all have a right to not be fleeced and controlled by statism. Keep the basic functions of government protecting our rights and start phasing out the rest.  Our rights to not be fleeced is not contingent on supplying you with budgetary “details”.

      • Why give 1% ers any more Tax Relief?
         
        They will only use the money  to buy politicians!

        • Anonymous

          You don’t decide for others what they are using their own money for.  Tax relief is  relief, not a gift.  You don’t “give” anyone anything by not taking it from them.  For all the lefts’ demagoguery of ugly class warfare fanning envy and resentment smearing “the rich”, their policies are to impose social controls and higher taxes on the middle class while dragging us all down to a lowest common denominator.

    • Anonymous

      LOL….nice fear mongering

      At least when Town Meeting rolls around I can go down and have my say in property tax increases on a day that is convenient and well known in adavance…that’s most certainly NOT the case when it comes to the immoral income tax where decisions are made at the state level and out of reach to the everyday working joe.

      is this a government BY the people and FOR the people?  Or would you prefer less of us have a say and retain everything at the state level where it less accessible, and more out of reach to the common working person? 

      Your comment certainly suggest you would prefer the later.

    • It would be much easier to own property in Maine if you didn’t have to send 5 or 6 thousand dollars or more a year to the tax coffers.

  • “There is enough money for state government without those high income taxes,” Courtney said.

    Really Sen. Courtney? Tell us where that money is, or where you will cut the State budget should your bill become law.

    And more:

    “Courtney said Maine’s income tax rate has long been one of the biggest deterrents for potential businesses.”

    Can Sen. Courtney provide any data to support his claim? “One of the biggest deterrents” Courtney says – I look forward to reading those studies.

    • Anonymous

      The punitive impact of high income taxes and high progressive marginal rates on business and investment is well known.  Spending must be cut to balance the budget.

      • Anonymous

        You are constantly saying “spending must be cut”. The problem is that we are coming to the end of the legislative session and so far instead of cutting they are spending more. You can type spending must be cut all day and most of the night, but the bone heads in Augusta only talk about cuting spending and don’t do it. 

        • Anonymous

          “You are constantly saying “spending must be cut””.  What is wrong cutting spending when you don’t have the money to pay for things.  This isn’t the Baldacci or King administration keep expanding programs even though they are failing.  These Welfare Programs need to be cut they aren’t working they are draining the budget and government resources that can be used for better reasons.  Cuttting taxes and giving back the people’s money is the right thing to do. Why should we continue to pay for a government that has done absolutely nothing the last 40+ years.  It’s time they give us a break because Democrats sure the heck haven’t done it while they were in control.

          • Anonymous

            Nothing done in 40 years?  What baloney.  Rivers cleaned up.  Land preserved for future generations.  National leader on the environment, our very brand.  Numerous investments in infrastructure and education improvement all over the state.  A leader in alternative energy.  A leader in certain public safety, healthcare, and research and development initiatives.  Broadening of the financial, technology, healthcare, and biological research sectors.  A first in the nation and very successful public school technology initiative.  Nationally recognized as top in the nation on quality of life. And on and on.  You’d have us race back to the bottom with sludge in the rivers, toxics in sippy cups, crumbling schools and roads, and parking lots instead of forests.

          • Anonymous

            Hi DC nice to hear from you again. I have nothing against cutting, but the fact is that we are spending more under this bunch then we were under the last bunch. With less then a month to go before this legislature adjourns they are still going to have to spend even more. There won’t be any giving back any money anytime soon revenues are below projections and LePage keeps asking for more money. Remember that the money they are talking about giving back is from surplus and even then a contribution will be made to the rainy day fund before they send any back to us. DC when was the last time you ever heard of any legislature sending money back to the citizens, not just in Maine or anyplace else? It just doesn’t happen. But keep up the good work. November is closer then we realize and after that it will be harder to find a Republican in the Maine Legislature then it will be to find a virgin in a brothel. 

        • Anonymous

          The intent, after only a little over a year, is to keep the pressure on against spending.  Resisting the usual entrenched demands for increases and those built in through prior setups is hard enough.

      • Anonymous

        Forbes did not say anything about high income taxes and high progressive marginal rate on business.  This is what Forbes said: ”
        “Maine suffers from energy costs 31 percent above the national average, stagnant population growth and anemic forecasts when it comes to job and gross state product growth,” 

        • Anonymous

          That does not address what I wrote about the known adverse effect of high income taxes.

          • Anonymous

            Because you just keep repeating the tea potty Bull. Don’t mean nothing

          • Anonymous

            Evasion in an alleged response to what people write is not excused by smearing anyone as “tea potty bull”.f

      • Guest

        If so, you must be opposed to the Gov. who has increased spending. (Dothe math.)

        • Anonymous

          Opposed to the increases and the political causes of it yes.  Opposed to LePage in comparison to what?

      • Can you provide the proof to back you claim, or are yiou like Courtney – spouting GOP talking points?

        • Anonymous

          Punishing people for success drives them out.

          • Provide the studies that prove your talking point. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

          • Anonymous

            Do you work to be punished Gerald?  I don’t.  Few do.  We don’t need more redundant “studies” to understand that.

    • Anonymous

      You won’t see any studies from them. Just more missinformation, and tea potty pandering.

  • Anonymous

    How can Courtney proclaim that  “There is enough money for state government without those high income taxes,” when we have a deficit.  LePage wants to cut programs because there is not enough money, but Courtney proclaims that there is enough money for state government.  Well, if there is enough money, why cut programs especially for the elderly and handicapped.  Plus, StillRelaxin is correct, property taxes will skyrocket because the services that the state now provides will fall on the shoulders of the local governments because there will not be enough revenue at the state level to pay the bills.

    • Anonymous

      It would be nice to see the whole interview to know what was actually said.

    • Anonymous

      Because right wingers love to make blanket statements with out detail to back them. Typical.

    • Anonymous

      This is just pandering to the tea party crowd. What they are going to do is increase taxes (immediately) before they cut taxes (someday, maybe, but they don’t say when). You have to love this crowd they conned all the tea party crowd into thinking that they were going to cut spending, cut taxes bring jobs to Maine and now we find out that they are out spending Baldacci, promise to cut taxes after they raise them and as far as the jobs coming to Maine are concerned……Fantasyland.

  • Anonymous

    Revenues are running drastically behind projections. There is no hope for a quick turn around in sight. Each week we hear about shortfalls of either tens of millions or even hundreds of millions. The Governor and just about all of his supporters are telling us we are broke. So what does our esteemed Senate do. They pass a bill that would detail where the surplus revenue will go. I , like everyone else, would love to see taxes go down but my goodness are these people on the same planet that the rest of us are? This is nothing more then a feel good bill passed to keep the radical right tea party base happy. 

    • Anonymous

      It keeps the pressure on lowering spending when people see much they are losing by the higher rates.  It helps to drive budget considerations by what taxpayers are losing rather than entirely by the desires of the big spenders, but it obviously isn’t enough by itself and is not all that LePage is doing.  Spending must be cut.

      • Anonymous

        That would be well and good if they actually cut spending. LePage’s initial budget didn’t have cuts as far as the total amount of spending was concerned. His budget was actually higher then Baldacci’s last budget. Today he proposed adding 8 investigators at DHHS. That is another expense. They will have to be trained before they can do any investigating and that will take time and money. We have an election coming up in November and if the Democrats take back control which is very possible then bills like the one we are talking about will be repealed. So like I said this is nothing but a feel good bill.

        • Anonymous

          I believe a lot of the budget increase was attributable to the previous administration’s unwillingness to pay it’s  “drunken sailor” way of  spending on entitlements. 100’s of millions of dollars were owed to hospitals, landlords, pharmacies etc. when Mr. B left office as most of us recall. It’s time for a balanced budget and spend as we go.

          • Anonymous

            Hogwash.  He got hit with the Great GOP Recession, and he and Dems cut $800 million and without all the drama and nonsense and bullying we get out of this utter disaster in the Blaine House.

    • Each week we hear about shortfalls but the media fails to remind us of the tax cuts that have already been passed by LePage and the Republican controlled Legislature.

  • The minute that LePage reduces income tax’s to zero you can figure, sure as God made little green apples and cranberries, that the property tax’s are gonna shoot right to the moon. And right after that you are gonna see an exodus of what little middle class remains here in Maine heading south, along with their employer’s. LePage want’s to see Maine business’s leave, fine. Pass this idiocy and watch P&W’s North Berwick plant head south for South Carolina inside of a year to join Boeing’s 777 production plant in North Charleston.

    And you can bet dollars to donut’s that the Navy Yard’s gonna be heading south as well. If the BARCO was looking for a reason to close a Base, this is all they need to see as far as Maine’s supporting the local Base goes. And once that goes, well, the writing’s on the wall as far as any commercial or industrial development goes for the very foreseeable and long-term future.  So go ahead Governor. Cut the income tax and see what you have left. Only I wouldn’t count on being in office for very long once this start’s. Once the money dry’s up you can be dammed sure that the Impeachment process is gonna be right behind it. And anyone that’s stupid enough to go along with you on this had better start thinking right now about moving to Florida and ‘Nutcase’ Scott. As it has been so often said here ‘Maine is not Tennessee or Florida’.

    Public policy based on this kind of delusion is guaranteed to be seen as a reason to remove any elected official that went along with this type of insanity. Now, who want’s to step up and declare themselves as a Stakeholder along with Paulie the First ’cause God only knows how many property owner’s are just waiting to see that list as soon as it comes out.

    • Anonymous

      Mike Kiernan:  “The minute that LePage reduces income tax’s to zero you can figure … that the property tax’s are gonna shoot right to the moon.”

      The legislation does not raise property taxes or re-introduce the state property tax that was repealed by referendum long ago.  No one would put up with that.  Spending must be cut, including state mandates on the towns.   Taxes cannot by “reformed” in only the name of “cuts” through the infamous “shift and shaft” strategy of the progressives in the previous administration.  We need more effort to reduce property taxes as well as the income tax; the status quo in property taxes and their increases is very damaging and cannot be ignored.

      • My friend, when LePage’s fiasco happens, if the Legislature isin’t real careful, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Property taxes are going to come back  and the State isin’t going to have any option since it’s the only visible revenue source that we both know the GOP can see. The State isin’t going to have any other option and we both know it. So do any number of reality thinking voter’s who can see where this is leading. Paulie wants to eliminate the income tax ( which I am all in favor of by the way) but has no means of identifying, much less instituting, it’s replacement. You can not simply cut your way to a balanced budget. Michigan is the poster child for that nonsense and Rick Snyder is getting his, along with the Michigan Tea Party AND the Michigan GOP as well, butt’s reamed for it as a result. So is Wisconsin and Scott Walker. In fact Walker’s nonsense has him facing a recall vote in about 90 days, right ahead of a Federal Grand Jury’s action. That one of Wisconsin’s GOP State Senator’s just resigned less than 12 hours ago should be all the indicator needed for Wisconsin’s GOP and the Tea Party to read the writing on the wall as well.  

        If LePage wants to cut the income tax to ZERO, fine. I want to see, in writing with his name and signature on it, a written and documented plan that identify’s a timetable for the income tax phase-out, what he’s going to use as a substitute revenue source and it’s phasing in time frame and that’s all. No budget cut’s, no exemption’s, no waiver’s, none of it. A straight elimination / substitution and time frame’s for both. If this whole thing is supposedly so simple then he should have no trouble drafting it out by June. I, not to mention both the homeowner’s and business owner’s in Maine, are all waiting for it. And I’m betting that any number of State legislator’s, on both side’s, are as well not to mention the business community.  

        • Guest

          Mike, run against Lance Harvell!

        • Anonymous

          “You can’t simply cut your way to a balanced budget.” Couldn’t we give it a try?

          • Fine. Draft LePage’s income tax substitution and start listing what you want to cut if the money doesn’t match. Those of us father’s who have had to have our prospective son-in-law’s show us on paper how they are gonna take care of our daughter’s have been doing this for year’s. And list what you are willing to cut. And when you do, think of the consequence’s of whatever it is not being there when it’s needed most. Leadership isin’t doing the most popular thing simply because a portion of your own Party wants you to. It’s being responsible when the crap on the roof caves in and all you got to bail the place out is a teaspoon. That I’ve seen to date, LePage wants to keep running for the Prom King. If he ever had to cut a program that the public needs, simply to keep his Party happy, he wouldn’t know what to do simply because he wants to keep being Mr Politically Popular.  Responsible leadership REQUIRES that cut’s and substitution’s be made both equitably and in a timely manner. LePage’s sense of timing has been only one step short of Bush when the old Glass Stegall Act was repealed and for those homeowner’s who are underwater, or worse, we all have seen how well that worked out.

        • Anonymous

          You forgot that he only makes deals with a handshake. Nothing signed allowed!!!

          • Agreed Pondy. That’s why Maine will never get any new business’s up here until the State has some stable and sane leadership that realizes that it needs stability and rational vision to both grow and improve it’s business climate. But it also requires business’s coming here to ‘step up to the plate’ and not expect to be given a completely free pass in return for coming to Maine. If nothing else, and I know this might be getting a bit old, the Kestrel mess showed everybody what happens when only one side ‘steps up’. That the deal was killed by the DECD folks shows that someone in that Dept. finally said ‘Enough !’ and made the tough call to demand that Kestrel ‘step up’ and produce the financial information necessary for the DECD folks to make a responsible decision. That Kestrel just walked away from guaranteed funding, tax credit’s, a physical plant that was tailor made for them courtesy of BARCO and a ready made work force, a great amny who worked on Navy aircraft for years too boot as well, tells me that Kestrel was just another corporate parasite looking for a free meal only as long as the food lasted. Now they’re in Wisconsin. Anyone wanna bet how long that’s gonna last when there meal ticket there, Walker, gets the boot in June when he lose’s the re-call election ?

            Business is a 2 way street, both sides coming together to achieve a common goal (business to make a profit (money) on their investment and government to support and represent the public’s interest and provide an infrastructure that allows business to meet the economic needs of the communities it engages with) that provides long-term stability and progress. Will it always be smooth sailing ? No way and anyone that says it will needs Dotty Dix pretty bad. That and a serious dose of Thorazine in their Bosco to boot ! The recent railroad mess with the old MMA above Brownville is a good case in point.  Now that the deal has been done, and presumably with a signed contract, I and a lot of others are waiting to see the train’s start to move Maine product’s south. We’re also waiting to see how the remaining right’s of way are going to be used for the benefit of Mainer’s as far as local or commuter rail, tourism rail or rail extended into NB and NS to Halifax or even Greenwood.

          • I don’t thnk Kestrel ever had any intention of coming to Maine, but simply used the state as a pawn to get a better deal out of Wisconsin:

            http://www.dirigoblue.com/2012/01/did-kestrel-use-maine-as-a-pawn-to-gain-more-tax-credits-out-of-wisconsin/

        • Anonymous

          I did not interpret his statement of desire to get rid of the personal income tax to mean that he expects to be able to do it or that it could happen abruptly at all.  He simply said what he would like to see.  He doesn’t even expect to see a 4% rate anytime soon because  it is contingent on surpluses and resistance from those pressuring for bigger spending.

          The targeted nationally funded union politics against the people of Michigan says nothing about the popularity of tea party prinecples and did not result in the takeover of the state there in the last election, which they had also threatened.

          One can cut the state budget, but it is not in the context of the current mess of “political reality” simple — either to properly phase it in to allow for planning for it or to contend with the entrenched resistance blocking reform and making everything messier than it has to be. Pushing back against that, however, is a good thing, though not all that is required.

          • Sir, the only surplus’s seen so far are both LePage’s and Courtney’s ego and arrogance in their telling everyone that there are surplus’s to be applied simply because they say they have them and expecting to be believed. Fine, if there are surplus’s to be used to reduce tax rate’s, like the man from Missouri says, ‘Show me’. I’m sure that any number of Mainecare folk’s, including Mayhew herself, would be thrilled to see it.

          • Anonymous

            What did LePage say about there being a surplus “now”?  All we have here is the BDN article above.  I would like to know what the LePage administration is actually saying in the context in which they intend.

      • Anonymous

        He did NOT say  the legislation  will raise property taxes.  His point is that is without income tax the cost of services will still have to be paid for probably by raising property tax.  It’s a very simple concept to understand.

        • Anonymous

          It’s a simple concept that is a false alternative.  The cost of state government cannot be paid for through property taxes without a state property tax that would require legislation. 

          Augusta could reduce state payments to the cities and towns (not the first time) but that would not be enough to replace elimination of the personal income tax while keeping spending the same (with the status quo including the usual increases).

          People would not tolerate a state income tax law or significant reductions in  ‘aid’ to the cities and towns, so it is not true that the “minute” a personal income tax went to zero that there would be new property taxe.  But it is easy enough to see how an Augusta desperate for money would increase the pressure in that direction through less payments to the cities and towns — not exactly a new phenomenon.  The debate however would include spending levels and would not result in an automatic increase in property taxes.

          • Anonymous

            It’s apparent that you read. but do you comprehend what they write?

          • Anonymous

            I addressed what he wrote.  You do not.

      • Compare property taxes in New Hampshire to those in Maine and tell us what your findings are.

        We’ll wait.

        • Anonymous

          No income taxes or sales tax in New Hampshire. Lower rates on Health, Life, and Auto Insurance than in Maine. A gasoline tax that is 13 cents less in NH than Maine. Investment income that is taxed at a lower rate by the State of NH than in Maine. Better overall infrastructure in NH than in Maine. More State Troopers in NH than in Maine. NH has lower cost electricity, oil, gas and phone services. NH has a State Hospital System that is secured by State Troopers. Dorothea Dix doesnt have that does it? And NH residents have a higher income than Maine residents.

          So that is why property taxes in NH are higher than in Maine. Plus NH residents like to keep their money in the towns which they live and fund themselves rather than send it to some black hole in Concord and then wait to hope some of it comes back to the neighborhood.

      • Downeasta

         In Maine, they dont increase the property taxes.  The state just changes the mil rate.

        • Anonymous

          The state doesn’t do that, the towns do in accordance with local spending per total town property value.  Spending causes the taxes, the mil rate is an intermediate calculation.

          • Anonymous

            Towns will have to increase revenues to offset decreased revenues from the state. To say they won’t is dishonest.

          • Anonymous

            The state does not set the mil rates.

  • more LePage bull that’s completely impractical but sounds good to his low IQ base. how many scotchs did it take to dream up this one?

  • Anonymous

    Do you think Paulie the Puppet is the kind of guy that would throw a rubber bone to a starving dog ?…I do.

  • Anonymous

    Nice two part bill.

    First they are going to increase the size of the of the top income bracket. Meaning those of you who get elected to be in this group will imediately see a tax increase thereby generating additional revenues that Mr LePage needs to balance his budget. In any other times this is called a tax increase but Mr LePage and crew have named it tax relief bill. Seems to me when you have to pay more taxes it is a tax increase.

    In part two they plan to reduce the top income bracket down to 4% . The  catch phase here is “…  if and when revenues improve. ” So this bill still remains ecentially a tax increase but just on those of us they move into the higher tax bracket. Which equals higher taxes on the middle class family but not on any others. Another great move of the Republican party to strengthen the middle class that this country is built on.

    Reduction in income tax rates in times of increased revenues is possible. Eliminating the state income tax without transferring to a different tax structure is not possible. State income tax produces over one half of the revenue the state runs on. Sales tax produces the next highest percentage and corporate tax produces the least. State governement will always require X revenues to run on. There will always be an Executive, Legislative and Judical Branches to run and even those of you who would completely eradicate DHHS will want the Highway Dept., the State Police, the State Parks and so on. These services all require money to run on and without drastic increases in the sales  and/or corporate taxes the funds will not be there.

    Next option — property taxes — the State will require the municipalities to provide X % based on the state valuation. And just like your school valuation you the local tax payer will have no say. Then we can be just like New Hampshire. 

    Can some one tell me why Mr LePage wants us to be anyone besides who we are ? I prefer the old .. AS Maine goes so goes the Nation idea. 

    • Anonymous

      My sister lives in NH, and property taxes in her town are very high.  As she says, “One way or the other, you pay.”

      • Anonymous

        But people in some states pay more than others.  NH property taxes are high but total taxes there are much less.

        • Anonymous

          BS

          • Anonymous

            Total taxes in NH are in fact much less than Maine.  Some people inequitably pay more through the discrimination against property owners.

    • Anonymous

      He didn’t say he want us to be someone other than who we are; he doesn’t include being a high taxed economic failure as inherent in who we are.

      • Anonymous

        More tea potty BS!

        • Anonymous

          Smearing peoples as “tea potty” does not change the fact that Maine is a high taxed economic failure as a consequence of 30 or 40 years of policy in Augusta.  We don’t want to be who you are.

  • Guest

    If you elect me, I promise I will eliminate all taxes by 2018. What a savings I will give you.

    • Anonymous

      If you throw in the Brooklyn Bridge you’ve got my vote.

      • Guest

        One bridge for UnclePaul, and one bridge inspectorship for Unconditioner Jr., and one bridge oversighter for Unconditioner Jr.’s wife, and one…….

        • Downeasta

           I have some prime swamp land in Florida, cheap!

  • Anonymous

    just eliminate the yearly excise tax on autos that would benefit every hardworking mainerd

    • Anonymous

      It is a local tax that would be automatically shifted to the already discriminatory property taxes, not a tax reduction.

  • Anonymous

    I believe that I said MOST, not all!
    Please read fully and understand before commenting.

  • Guest

    “75% of the benefit goes to the top 20% of the taxpayers.” Obviously why it passed. If the working/poor class in Maine think for one minute that the Maine State Gov is in favor of “tax” cuts for them………think again!! Obviously the Gov is in favor of taking your job and throwing you in the soup kitchen line to “balance” the budget. Amazing!

  • The Bush Tax Cuts significantly helped cause the current defceit and the decline of Americas Middle Class.

    More of the same,

     Tax Cuts for the Rich and the Destruction of Maines Middle Class from the Governor of Maine!

    Lepage and the Republicans wants all but the richest of us back in the Stone Age!

  • Anonymous

    If it takes X amount of dollars to run the state now and the lawmakers cut taxes and do not increase somewhere else, we can not fund the budget as it is unless we pile a little more on the backs of the working class middle income people and there will soon be less of us to carry the load maybe we will be offered a free membership in a club.

  • Anonymous

    According to charts posted on Dirigoblue, a progressive blog, the top 20% of income earners in Maine include those making down to about $80,000 per year. Those same people pay, under the current system, approximately 70% of income taxes in Maine. The bottom 50% of taxpayers pay less than 8% of total income taxes collected in Maine. Under the Republican tax proposal for 2013-14, the top 20% of taxpayers will see the percentage of income tax that they pay to the state increase a percentage point or so. The bottom 50% will see the percentage of income tax they pay decrease by about a percentage point, with those who make less than about $14,000 having all tax liability erased.

    It is no wonder that the people who actually pay much more in income taxes will be the very same who receive much more in an income tax cut.

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