Breaking - tape at 11
Now, don't be too quick. The house voted yes 87-49, but then there was a vote on an amendment. There are many more iterations of this to come.
Strimling and Nass have said that if the Constitutional piece fails, they will not vote for the tax reform part. That should kill this in the Senate.
Does anyone actually believe that there is a collective and honest intent to lower our tax burden?
Or do you agree that absent working the spending side, the only game here is to convince the clueless electorate that "we heard you," while simply putting a new coat of whitewash on the old status quo?
With an increase of over $400 million in the state budget, how can the cloned bozos in Disgusta claim they will give us tax relief? The idiot factor grows daily in our state capital. All parties are not exempt.
One if by I-95, two if by 202.
This is not tax relief and I am not sure it even meets the standard of tax reform. It is an idea with some merit, but is fatally flawed if you are looking to provide sustainable tax relief to Maine people.
What do you call tax relief? Most people would see their income and property taxes fall under this plan. Isn't that tax relief? The people most likely to see a tax increase under this plan are those who spend the most. Not a bad idea. If you plan to wait to see a tax reform proposal that actually reduces all taxes for all people then you will be sorely disappointed. It ain't going to happen.
This proposal reduces the overall tax burden for the majority of Maine people. Instead of a knee-jerk reaction, read the bill and do the calculations for yourself.
Based on what I know about the bill, most of the people reading this post will pay less in taxes if the bill passes than they will if it doesn't. If you know otherwise, prove it.
Slingblade, you're showing your ignorance. Lowering taxes can result in MORE money coming in to state and/or federal coffers. Reagan proved that. Increased spending does not equate to increased taxes. That being said, there's no reason why we can't have both lower taxes and lower spending - but let's not reject the former just because we don't get the latter.
Democrat, there are two problems I see with your argument. The first is that just like the Reagan years, the Democratics are in charge of the Maine legislature. And as usual, the Democratics spend like drunken sailors, as a 400mil. increase is not chump change. The only way to see real savings is to spend less in "new" programs, stop bonding everything, and stop raiding funds which have ways which already provide funds for programs (ie. gas tax/highway funds). The current legislature does not seem to understand how to be responsible and make [rp[er priorities. In fact I will claim they made almost no prioriries.
Second, This so called "tax-relief' by the Democratics, is just a scheme. The reason why it is being done (tax shifting or broadening the tax base) this year is so that when the budget in the next cycle or two down the road comes to roost, they will need to increase taxes. Since at that time, they will have already broadened the taxes, they will have foisted a wider tax base on the people of Maine and put a larger burden on the population as a whole, while making us think they are only increasing the taxes slightly.
If the end result of this "tax-reform" is just revenue neutral why does this "tax-relief" need to occur in the first place? I just explained it above, but the Democratics will never say that to the Maine public.
It seems like every time there is a change in the tax law it dropps more people off the tax paying rolls. This bill would at least give something back to those actually earning money.
Some people here mistakenly use the term "tax relief" as a synonym for "tax reform". This reform bill collects more money from non-residents, taxes you on what you spend (exempting housing, food, medical care, etc.) and less on what you earn. The bill is certainly not perfect and taxes are still too high, but is that a reason to vote against a bill that will save you money?
I do know the difference, it is the Democratics which seem to want to pass "tax reform" as "tax relief". I was purposely using tax-relief interchangeably because this is the type of rhetoric we hear from Glen Cummings and company. He says this is tax reform that will reduce the burden (ie. tax-relief) to the average Mainer, If that is not double-speak I don't know what it is.....
Why do we always need to change something especially when the change does not fix the real underlying problem (taxes are too high for everyone) and will only result in putting redder shade of lipstick on the pig. We should not be monkeying with the constitution (for tax purposes) or broadening the tax base to suite a temporary need. THE WAY WE ARE TAXED IS NOT THE PROBLEM, the problem is that we are spending way too much year to year. We have been sustaining a steady 8-10% increase every year since the late 90's. This is what need to stop and reverse itself. The only way it will happen is to throw the bums out, but for some unknown reason, the average Mainer does not seem to be able to connect the dots that the people in power are also the people who control the purse strings. However they are the only ones who will be able to truly correct the fiscal irresponsibility that has been running amuck.
If the Maine legislature is not a the poster child for a tax and spend congress, then I don't know what one is......
How is anyone saving taxes in this plan when you will have to pay new taxes for:
The plumber, accountant, yard care, snow removal ? , maid, dog groomer, hair stylist, computer technician and the list goes on and on.
I don't know the exact trades who will be forced to collect taxes but the only one I have heard that is exempt is Legal Council?
This is bad tax policy, bad for you, bad for me and absolutely bad for Maine.
Ross - Scott posted the list of new sales taxes on this page -
The only exemptions I could see are doctor, dentist, medical (except elective cosmetic procedures), lawyers, and accountants.
The theory of reducing tax on the income side and increasing it on the consumption side is sound, but I do not believe that they are lowering the income side nearly enough in this case to compensate for the increases.
[quote]This reform bill collects more money from non-residents,[/quote]
Thanks Naran, the didn't miss much did they? Do you remember the Robin Williams movie "Popeye" where the tax man rides around on his bicycle collecting tax on damn near everything people did? I envision a fleet of Maine Revenue Agents driving around in BMW's enforcing all these absurd taxes. They must have shown "Popeye" to the Maine legislature during one of their debates on tax reform.
When and where is the Tea Party? I happen to have an Indian costume that needs dusting off.
Staff photo by David Leaming
[quote][i]NO NEW TAXES[/i]
[b]Tax reform plan doesn't go far enough[/b]
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel Thursday, June 14, 2007
Shaping a more efficient and effective state government for the 21st century is no small task, and members of the Maine Legislature's Taxation Committee deserve some credit for crafting a bi-partisan tax reform package that will take us a few more steps in that direction.
But the Taxation Committee's proposal has one major weakness: it doesn't address the urgent need to reduce spending and modernize government administration.
Alan Caron is president and CEO of GrowSmart Maine in Yarmouth;www.growsmartmaine.org.
The only way to reduce taxes is to reduce spending!
In my opinion you can not offer "tax relief" to the people of Maine unless you also simultaneously cut spending. Tax reform conveys the message that government is substantially changing how and what the government taxes. In the minds of those in Augusta this definition is probably close enough for government work. Tax relief (I'll stick with this term), suggests we already have too high a tax burden that must be reduced. The proposed plan says it will reduce my income tax bracket to 6%, but will simultaneously penalize me by "increasing" my tax burden if I sell or buy a new house, or take my kid to a movie, or get my shirts dry cleaned. That doesn't meet the BS test as far as "relief" is concerned. Any tax relief for Maine citizens must be straightforward and transparant. I shouldn't have to be a PhD to figure it out! I think the Dem-Socialist plan may have been simply to engage Republicans in a "bipartisan" effort knowing, just like the initial school consolidation plan, that it would fail under its own weight. They could then blame Republicans for failing to provide "reform."
Why exempt accountants? The other professions (even lawyers) could be argued are necessary, but why is an accountant any more necessary than a plumber? That is of course unless you're paying an accountant to figure out how to get you out of paying taxes.
Perhaps the accountants had better lobbyists than the plumbers did.
They did not want the accountants to explain to people just how much more this bill will cost them.
Using the information currently available and my spending over the past year (we write down all money spent) this plan will cost me at least $500 more per year and more if the town were to override the homestead exemption.
Al, the answer is really simple. How does the state currently tax non-residents? Basically, meals and lodging and a few sales taxes. By expanding the sales tax - especially to amusement, entertainment and recreation services, and increasing meals and lodging taxes, non-residents end up paying more taxes.
What percentage of meals served in Maine eateries are consumed by out of staters? Hmmmm...
[quote="SAM ADAMS 2"]The only way to reduce taxes is to reduce spending![/quote]Actually reducing spending is the desired action, but whenever you cut taxes, you increase revenue via increased economic activity.
Unfortunately, you can't get them to do either in Augusta.
[quote="democrat"]What do you call tax relief? [/quote]
Well, it would START with declaring a reduction in spending.
This measure relieves SOME taxpayers while penalizing others, and creating a whole new tier of taxation for those who have no power in this state to do anything about it. Some of those people would be out-of-staters, it's true. And perhaps we should remodel the tollbooths as you come onto the Maine Turnpike, making them into wallet deposits.
And just who do you suppose shovels and plows snow, washes cars, and does hair?
The way life ought to be indeed.
Bob, it doesn't matter what the percentage is. All I said is that this bill would collect more money from non-residents than the current tax policy. That's pretty obvious. What's debatable is whether the majority of residents would pay more or less in taxes. The revenue service says less, but unless you know how much you spend on taxable items, it's hard to tell on an individual basis. Certainly a higher homestead exemption should lower your property taxes - unless your town votes to increase the mill rate. And certainly paying 6% instead of 8.5% in income tax should lower your income taxes, depending on your deductions - (in my case for instance, I don't have a mortgage interest deduction, so I lose nothing there). Again, the revenue service says that this package will bring in $140 million less than the current system. Opponents focus on what new taxes they will pay, but most people (including me) have no idea whether they would end up paying more or less overall.
Do you really believe the homestead exemption lowers taxes?
What do you think your town will do if there is suddenly a law exempting 50% of your assessed value from taxation?
Melvin, they will try to raise the mill rate of course. They can only do that, however, with the approval of the voters or the people they elect to represent them, depending on the type of town government you have.
I would like democrat to explain how we are going to get tax relief if the legislature just increased spending by $498,000,000 in the budget for the two years beginning July 1st. The last I checked, the Maine constitution requires that all spending be balanced by revenue. Revenue comes into the state in the form of taxes and fees. So, if spending is scheduled to rise a half billion dollars (in the General Fund alone, I might add), how can there be tax relief? I would like to see the democrat comment on this question. All the rest of the hooey is just carrying water for the Democrats, who want the Maine people to think that they are getting a good deal. At the end of the day, we are going to be paying a half billion dollars more to operate Maine state government.
Also, it DOES matter what the percentage is. I'll bet that 70% of the patrons of Maine restaurants and bars are Maine residents as measured over a year's time.
This bill will make an already bad situation in Maine worse.