A coalition of low-income advocates and service providers are calling for an increase in taxes on Maine high income earners and large corporations to fund investments in the social services.

The coalition is pushing for a number of tax changes that include rolling back the income tax cuts on the Mainers passed in 2017, taxing capital gains and stock dividends at a higher rate, ending corporate offshore tax breaks and imposing a new tax on corporations with profits more than $3.5 million.

But the changes being pushed by the group face opposition not just from Republicans in the Legislature, but also from Governor Janet Mills, who has said she would not support any increase in taxes.

Several bills proposed this session would increase income taxes on Maine citizens and businesses. These bills will make Maine less competitive or attractive. The legislation will have a real, negative effect on Maine’s economy and could contribute to reductions in employment and the labor force, decreased population, economic output, and outward migration – all things we cannot afford to have happen as a state. Several other states around the country have tried this policy and are seeing an unprecedented outward migration due to high taxes.

The Taxation committee is holding public hearings during the next several weeks on the bills backed by this Coalition.  MEMA opposes all of these bills and if you would like to testify in opposition.

Public Hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 9, starting at 9:30 a.m.

  • LD 498,An Act to Reauthorize a 3 Percent Tax on Income Over $200,000 to Lift all Maine Workers out of Poverty(Sponsor: Rep. Mike Sylvester)
  • LD 501,An Act to Amend Maines Corporate Income Tax by Increasing the Top Rate from 8.93 Percent to 12.4 Percent (Sponsor: Rep. Heidi Brooks)

Public Hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 16, starting at 1:00 p.m.

  • LD 570,An Act to Provide for Fairness in the Taxation of Extraordinary and Unearned Income by Establishing a 3 Percent Surcharge on Net Capital Gains and Dividends Income over $250,000 for Taxpayers Filing Single or Married Filing Separate Returns and over $500,000 for Taxpayers Filing Joint Returns. (Sponsor: Rep. Seth Berry)

Key Talking Points and Highlights:

  • These bills represent a reversal of the direction Maine’s legislature has taken in recent years tolower the top income tax rates to make Maine a more attractive place to live, work, and retire.
  • These proposals are a deterrent for future or current employers considering long-term investments in Maine.
  • Higher taxes can impact the amount the business owner chooses to reinvest in their businesses in terms of capital and personnel. Failure to reinvest can have a direct impact on growing the economy and on job creation.
  • The three goals ofMaine’s Strategic Plan are to grow the average annual wage by 10 percent; increase the value of products sold per worker by 10 percent; and attract 75,000 people to Maine’s talent pool. These bills are not supportive of these goals.
  • States that have increased income taxes on citizens and businesses are losing their residents to other states.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.