Gov. LePage’s 2015 Tax Plan is Almost the Same as the 2009 Tax Law Written by Democrats and Repealed by People’s Veto in 2010. There is NO Difference Between Major Parties.
As we work to register 5,000 Mainers as Libertarians by December first, one might ask – Why do we need a strong third party? The answer is – because we need new fresh ideas. Case in point – the similarity between the tax proposal by Gov. LePage this year and the law passed by the Democratic Legislature and Gov. Baldacci in 2009.
To paraphrase Yogi Berra, in theory there is a difference between the two parties but in practice there is not. You only have to go back to 2009 to remember LD 1495 passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Baldacci. That law, designed by the Democrats to expand the tax base, lowered the state income tax to a flat rate of 6.5% and expanded the 5.5% sales tax to many services. There were multiple complicated tax rates for meals and rental cars and even a special tax rate for candy. This law was repealed by people’s veto in 2010 (Question 1 in the June 2010 election).
We are now in 2015 and LePage is proposing increasing the sales tax to 6.5% and expanding it to cover more services. The top income tax rate would be lowered to 5.75%. There are some important differences here, such as repeal of the estate tax and, most importantly, cuts to municipal revenue sharing that make property tax increases likely in some towns. The proposal doubles the homestead exemption for senior citizens to $20,000 while eliminating it for people under 65. If property taxes were held flat, LePage’s proposal would reduce spending by $267 million (Detailed Tax Foundation Report Here). As we all know streamlining educational bureaucracy is difficult and there is no guarantee against property tax increases.Read more