Testimony: Long-Term Income Tax Relief (LD 971)


Testimony in Support of LD 971: “An Act to Establish the Income Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents”

Senator Grohoski, Representative Perry, and the distinguished members of the Committee on Taxation, my name is Nick Murray and I serve as director of policy for Maine Policy Institute. We are a free market think tank, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that advocates for individual liberty and economic freedom in Maine. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on LD 971.

This bill is simply sound tax policy. It builds in automatic rate reductions triggered by revenues received by the state higher than the budgetary growth limitation factor. It would ensure that Maine people, not the State, are the first to benefit when they are forced to pay more than is necessary in taxes. 

Contrast that to the budget proposal facing legislators today. Governor Mills and her allies are proposing that the state ignore the growth limitation factor, in play for 20 years but never-before triggered, and instead spend 98% of all estimated revenue. There could not be a wider difference between these approaches.

Over the last four years, the Maine state government has grown inflation-adjusted spending per capita by 10%. If Gov. Mills got her entire budget wishlist, this would grow to 20% over six years. This sort of spending growth trajectory is unsustainable. At some point, DC inflating the dollar will not help us; Mainers will be on the hook for the state’s profligacy.

The time to institute long-term tax reform is now. Please deem LD 971 “Ought To Pass” and chart a course of real growth for Maine. Thank you for your time and consideration.