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Issue Position: Taxes

Issue Position

By:
Location: Unknown

1. Lower Taxes to Help Struggling Families.
2. Lower Taxes to Attract Business Investment and Jobs.
3. Maintain Reasonable Safety Nets.

Reducing state taxes is crucial to relieving the financial burden on our families. It will also help build a positive business climate to attract jobs, a key part of my Plan to Help Maine Families.

By any objective measure, Maine government taxes our businesses and workers at much higher rates than most other states.[1] It does so to pay for the excessive spending on programs and services. These high taxes drive away businesses and jobs. This, in turn, forces our young workers and their families to look out-of-state for employment. It's an unacceptable cycle which must be reversed.

"Maine government taxes our businesses and workers at much higher rates than most other states."

As a percent of personal income, Maine state and local tax collections rank 4th highest in the U.S.[2] Maine workers pay the 7th highest state personal income tax, 8.5%, starting on annual earnings of only $19,450.[3] A full-time worker earning less than $10 per hour is subjected to this stifling tax!

Augusta taxes our companies at the 9th highest corporate income tax rate.[4] We all pay the 16th highest gas tax in the nation, 30c per gallon.[5] That's $6 to Augusta with every 20-gallon fill-up. It costs $600 in excise tax to put a new $25,000 car on the road just for the first year! We pay $438 for the second year.[6] Connecticut residents pay $38 per year. New Yorkers pay $24. It's no wonder why so many Mainers drive older, less safe, more polluting, and less fuel efficient cars.

Nine states levy no personal income tax on their citizens. Neighboring New Hampshire, with the same population as Maine, runs its smaller state government with no personal income or sales taxes.

"Reducing state taxes is crucial to relieving the financial burden on our families."

Investors do their homework before starting, expanding, or relocating their businesses. They naturally gravitate toward lower-tax, lower-cost states. Maine should create incentives to attract investment and jobs by re-engineering our business climate to better compete with other states. Lowering taxes across-the-board at least to levels comparable with other states will be a visible and important step to that end. Doing so will also immediately put more money in the hands of our struggling workers and their families.

Footnotes
[1] United States Census Bureau; United States Bureau of Economic Analysis
[2] United States Census Bureau; United States Bureau of Economic Analysis
[3] Tax Foundation
[4] Tax Foundation; Maine Revenue Service
[5] Tax Foundation[
[6] National Council of State Legislatures


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