On Wednesday, the Committee on Taxation voted along party lines to reject a bill that would allow a referendum on eliminating Maine’s income tax.
The proposal, put forth by Governor Paul R. LePage, would allow voters to decide at the polls whether or not to amend Maine’s constitution to repeal the state income tax.
After the committee’s decision, the governor came out swinging, urging Mainers to contact their representatives in support of his proposal.
“The people of Maine should know how their legislators are voting, and only then will politicians be held accountable for their actions. It is a disgrace for these politicians to refuse Mainers the opportunity to vote on eliminating the income tax,” said Gov. LePage. “I urge people to demand to know why their legislators don’t want you to have a say in the process.”
Democrats members of the committee expressed concerns over the lost revenue that would result from eliminating the income tax.
“The governor’s proposal to eliminate the income tax is more of a political sound bite than a credible proposal,” said State Senator Nate Libby (D-Lewiston). “As someone who has worked on bipartisan tax reform for as long as I’ve been in the Legislature, I can say with certainty, that no serious plan would include a gaping hole in our budget,”
Maine Republicans have insisted that the Maine people should have the final say on elimination of the income tax.
The proposal needs a two-thirds vote of support in both the Republican controlled Senate and the Democrat controlled House.
“I’m disappointed with the committee vote,” said Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo). “I hope when this bill goes before the full Legislature it will be embraced by both sides of the aisle as a commonsense reform that will lead to a stronger economy for Maine.”