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For Immediate Release

Date: 01/18/11

Rep. Bennett named to Legislature's Taxation Committee

AUGUSTA -- State Rep. Paul Bennett has been appointed to the Legislature's high profile Taxation Committee, putting him in a position to help shape policy regarding municipal revenue sharing, property tax rebates and other important financial issues.

Rep. Bennett (R-Kennebunk), a first-term legislator, said he is looking forward to his work on the committee. "It's going to be a very busy term," he said. "It looks as if at least 200 bills will be sent to Taxation for public hearings and work sessions. That's a large number, so I expect some long days and long weeks in Augusta. It's going to be interesting and educational.

"This was my top choice for a committee assignment," he added. "I wanted to be in a position where I could make an immediate impact. I'm entering the committee as if we were in crisis. My long-term goal is to eliminate one of the state's three big taxes - personal income tax, corporate income tax and the sales tax."

House Speaker Robert Nutting said Rep. Bennett's background made him a natural fit for the Taxation panel. He has a B.S. in accounting from Bentley University and worked in corporate accounting for a large residential real estate firm after college. He also has worked as a tax advisor for H&R Block. In addition, Rep. Bennett taught high school mathematics in Virginia. Moreover, he understands the impact of taxes on small business. He owned a real estate brokerage in Maine and currently owns, with his brother, Bennett's Store, a sandwich shop in Kennebunk.

The Taxation Committee has jurisdiction over the Bureau of Revenue Services and the State Property Tax Review Board. It also oversees tax policy; property valuation and assessment; municipal revenue sharing; taxation of unorganized territories; tax increment financing; and tree growth and other current use tax issues. The panel also has jurisdiction over the Maine Residents Property Tax Program, the so-called "circuit breaker" rebate program.

The Maine Legislature has 16 joint standing committees, each composed of 13 members - three senators and 10 members of the House. Every committee has jurisdiction over clearly defined parts of state government. ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445