The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee endorsed a supplemental budget on an 8-5 party-line vote Thursday night that would give Maine businesses and unemployed Maine residents a break from paying taxes on relief funds they received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democrats and Republicans agreed to fully conform with the federal tax code so that more than 28,000 businesses would not pay state taxes on the Paycheck Protection Loans they received, a provision that would cost the state $100 million in tax revenue.

The supplemental budget also includes $47 million to exempt unemployment benefits from state income taxes and $30 million in state and federal funds to provide relief to direct care workers and nonprofits.

The disagreement between parties came when the parties couldn’t agree on how to spend more Federal aid that is likely to come from Congress.

The supplemental budget would need to receive the two-thirds support to pass. The proposal will go before the full Legislature for consideration at the Augusta Civic Center next week.

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.