Bills to Watch: Driving wealth and opportunity out of Maine (LD 667)
Rep. Ben Collings (D-Portland) is the lead sponsor of LD 667, “An Act to Impose a Tax Surcharge on Certain Incomes.” The bill resurrects the income tax surcharge that was approved by voters at the ballot box a few years back but eliminated from law in the next round of budget negotiations, only LD 667 takes the idea to more extreme levels.
Under the proposal, individuals who earn more than $1 million annually would see a surcharge of 3%, and individuals who earn more than $10 million annually would pay a surcharge of 6%. Thus, an individual earning $1 million or above would pay a 10.15 percent income tax rate and individuals earning over $10 million would pay a 13.15 percent rate.
The full text of the measure can be read below:
Such a punitive tax structure would surely result in high-earners leaving Maine for other states – perhaps just over the border to New Hampshire, which does not enforce an income tax – and investing their capital in another state’s economy.
Interestingly, 75 percent of the revenue raised under the law would go to public k-12 education and 25 percent would go to rural economic development (whatever that means). Perhaps Rep. Collings is unaware that, even amid record funding for education in Maine, measures of student achievement continue to decline. No amount of money will make the public school system successful. But funding individual students to attend schools and pursue disciplines that meet their own needs and interests would result in far better educational outcomes for Maine’s next generation.
LD 667 was referred to the Taxation Committee on February 16, 2023 but it has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing.