Chamber of Commerce Endorses Tax Reform in Governor’s Budget

May 6, 2015

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

Business group strongly supports tax cuts as Maine’s path to economic vibrancy

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday announced their support for comprehensive tax reform in the finalized state biennial budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The association of Maine job-creators specifically praised the Governor’s proposal to reduce the income tax to 5.75 percent by 2019, eliminate the death tax and reduce the business tax rate.

“The people working hard every day to grow local businesses and hire more Mainers have spoken, and they’re telling lawmakers that if they want to see more jobs in Maine, they have to get on board with comprehensive tax reform that cuts the income tax,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This is a wakeup call to lawmakers of both parties who aren’t seeing the value of reducing the income tax burden on Maine job creators.”

The Chamber explicitly stated its approval of a heightened sales tax rate and expansion in the plan to make up for some of the revenue lost by the Governor’s bold income tax reduction.

“We appreciate Governor LePage’s leadership in advancing these reforms,” said Chamber President Dana Connors in the statement. “The most important provision of the proposals is the significant reduction in the individual income tax rate,” the press release continued.

Connors concluded by calling on lawmakers to “step up to this challenge.”

The biennial budget is currently before the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and is due to go into effect July 1, 2015.

“No legislative study or lobbyist-filled hearing will ever be able to match the voice of Maine small businesses who are demanding job-creating tax reform,” added Governor LePage. “Both parties in the Legislature have an opportunity to unite behind Maine businesses and make tax reform happen. They will only fail if they lack the willpower to put people before politics and make bold decisions for Maine taxpayers.”