AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage’s 2016 “State of the State” address has been listed as one of the best in the country in terms of the economic policy proposals he put forth, which have been proven in other states to enhance their economic competitiveness and growth.
A report by ALEC, entitled State of the States: An Analysis of the 2016 Governors’ Addresses, commends Governor LePage for fighting to abolish both Maine’s death tax and income tax. “If these taxes were repealed, the state would improve dramatically in economic competitiveness, leading to more residents and businesses moving in to the state and greater job growth,” according to the report. “Like New Hampshire, Maine could be a refuge for taxpayers, businesses and capital fleeing the poor tax and fiscal policies adopted by most Northeast states.”
“I’m pleased to be recognized by the nation’s foremost experts on tax policy for having one of the best economic proposals in the country,” said Governor LePage. “Socialists in the Legislature and the Maine media continue to resist my common-sense economic proposals that have propelled other states into growth and prosperity. But I will keep fighting to bring fiscal responsibility to state government and to give Maine people and companies the opportunity to thrive and prosper.”
ALEC highlighted Governor LePage as the only governor in the country who proposed eliminating their state’s income tax. “Governor Paul LePage delivered one of the most meaningful addresses in terms of tax policy,” the report stated. “The governor specifically emphasized the need for Maine to look at other states around the country that are prospering economically and to mimic the actions of those states so Maine would similarly prosper. Governor LePage noted that Maine’s high taxes, particularly on personal income, are holding the state back, leading him to propose gradual reductions in Maine’s income tax rate and its eventual elimination by 2024.”
ALEC praised Governor LePage for emphasizing that “reducing and eliminating the income tax would be far better than increasing the state’s minimum wage due to the fact that eliminating the personal income tax ‘will put $900 million back in the paychecks of Mainers,’ and allow businesses to keep and hire more employees.” ALEC also looked at how Governors proposed dealing with other taxes, including business taxes and estate taxes. “Maine’s Paul LePage offered pro-growth proposals,” the report stated. “Corporate income taxes are one of the most harmful forms of taxes that can be levied on an economy because they make it more difficult for businesses to innovate, hire employees and raise wages.”
As stated in a 2015 ALEC report, Rich States, Poor States: “States with the lowest corporate income tax substantially outperform their high tax counterparts in population growth, net domestic immigration, non-farm payroll employment growth, personal income growth and gross state product growth.”
In State of the States, ALEC commended Governor LePage for his call to “eliminate the death tax once and for all.” In Rich States, Poor States, ALEC found: “The estate tax is an unfair double tax on income that was already taxed when it was earned by individuals who leave an estate for their family. But the estate tax is not just unfair—it is a killer of jobs and incomes in states.”
ALEC noted Maine’s economic outlook ranking of 38 in Rich States, Poor States, which has moved up under the LePage administration, may look discouraging, but stated “the proposals outlined by Governor LePage are an excellent model for any state to follow in order to improve their economic competitiveness and achieve greater economic growth.”