On Wednesday, Governor Paul R. LePage was joined by Jonathan Williams, Vice President of ALEC’s Center for State Fiscal Reform, at a press conference to advocate the governor’s tax reforms.
LePage presented an online tax calculator that would show Maine residents how the governor’s budget would affect their taxes. The calculator allows Mainers to compare their taxes under the current system to what they would be under the governor’s tax reform plan.
After the governor revealed the calculator, Williams discussed Maine’s ranking in the 8th edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. In that study, Maine was ranked 42 out of 50 states when graded on economic outlook. That ranking marks a step backwards after gradual improvements over the last few years.
“Now certainly, that means there are storm clouds on the horizon if something doesn’t change,” warned Williams.
Williams also noted, however, that there was room for growth in Maine’s rankings.
All things being equal, he continued, Maine would move from 42 to 31 in economic outlook if the governor’s tax reforms were adopted in their entirety.
When questioned about legislative support for his proposals, LePage stated that he was confident that his plans were popular among Maine people and his income tax cut would be passed if put to a referendum.
“We are behind the rest of the country,” said LePage. Lowering the income tax is the path forward for improved economic growth, he continued.
The Maine Heritage Policy Center will be hosting an event with Jonathan Williams on Thursday, where he will expound on the Rich States, Poor States report and its meaning for Maine.