Currently, unearned income such as capital gains is taxed at a lower rate than working people’s wages. There are also deductions and loopholes which benefit Millionaires far more than everyone else. We need to make the tax code fairer so we can restore hope to Maine’s poor and middle class families. The entire tax burden – state and local – and all forms of monetary gain should be considered to fairly assess burden as a percentage of means.
It’s time for everyday Mainers to get a break, instead of those making millions of dollars.
I support tax reform because Maine people and businesses will benefit. The current State tax structure is too susceptible to loss of revenue in tough times. State cuts to education, revenue sharing and the circuit breaker program (now the ‘property tax fairness’ credit) place increasing property tax burdens on many Mainers.
I believe in finding all possible efficiencies in State government to lower the overall budget. The best way to make government more responsive to citizens and more business friendly is to make the delivery of State products more efficient to improve the effectiveness of those products in serving the needs of its customers. Every permit, every license, every state income tax refund, every reimbursement check to a health provider for MaineCare, and every criminal arrest processed is a product produced by State government. I’ve spoken to citizens across the spectrum, small business owners, and State employees that all agree there is a need for improving processes within State government.
I support fairness in distributing the tax burden. The 125th Legislature, with a Republican governor and majority in House and Senate repealed reporting of combined state and local tax burden by income. This makes it more difficult to see how their policies have shifted more of the burden from the state to the local level and from the well off onto poor and middle income Mainers. But the most recent figures available indicate that the poorest fifth of Mainers pay 17% of what they earn in state and local taxes. The middle class pays 12% of what they earn, and the wealthiest 1% of Mainers pay only 9.9% of what they earn. That’s not right. And worse, further income tax cuts, still being pushed by Governor LePage would only serve to make the rate structure more unfair. Already the state is shortchanging municipalities on payments for education funding and revenue sharing. Cutting income tax revenues would shift more burden onto property taxes – which is a regressive tax that hurts retirees and low wage workers most of all.
Kansas is a prime example of how the Republican policies of cutting income taxes lead to slashing education and other funding, not increased revenues as they claimed. Their trickle-down policy has failed miserably and Maine should be smarter than to emulate Kansas’ failures.
It’s Time for Everyday Mainers to Get a Break – Instead of Millionaires