AUGUSTA, Maine — During a fiery news conference that lasted nearly an hour, Gov. Paul LePage pledged Friday to veto every bill sponsored by a Democrat until his opposition relents and accepts his constitutional amendment to eliminate Maine’s income tax.
LePage this year has proposed a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the state’s income tax by the year 2020. Republicans, who have shied away from the governor’s more comprehensive tax reform efforts, have rallied around the amendment.
Democrats have opposed it, sparking LePage’s trademark fury during a news conference at the Blaine House.
Like all Republican plans to eliminate the income tax, this would mean a huge boon to the wealthy, and a pretty significant hit to the middle and lower classes, as it more than likely means the income tax would be replaced with a higher sales tax, an idea the governor is very fond of.
It seems LePage thinks that by allowing more money to be concentrated at the top, it means more money will eventually be trickled-down to everyone else. The governor attempted to do just that back in 2011, lowering the top rate from 8.5% to 7.95%. How did that work out? About as well as anyone expects by this point:
Across the U.S., total state tax revenue reached pre-recession levels in mid 2013. But tax receipts in 30 states, including Maine, have not yet recovered. This chart, with data from the Pew Charitable Trusts, shows Maine’s tax revenue picture compared with the nation’s. In the third quarter of 2014, more than five years after the recession’s end, Maine was still collecting less than at its peak before or during the recession. Comparisons are based on Maine and the U.S.’s peak tax revenue level since 2006.Well, clearly it seems that, as usual, revenues have only gone down cause we haven't cut taxes enough.