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Statement of Governor on Taxation Committees Delay of Tax Conformity Legislation

January 27, 2016

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 27, 2016
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement Wednesday afternoon, after legislators voted to delay a bill adversely affecting hundreds of thousands of Maine taxpayers.

On Wednesday, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Taxation held a work session on LD 1564, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services’ (DAFS) legislation to conform Maine’s tax code to the federal Internal Revenue Code. At the conclusion of the work session, the committee voted to delay final consideration of the legislation until next Wednesday.

“Taxpayers need to know what policy the legislature supports, and, to date, they’ve failed to provide that guidance,” said Governor LePage. “In essence, Democrats on the Tax Committee have abdicated its responsibility to make a timely decision on a topic of the utmost importance to both Maine businesses and individuals. Businesses have already begun filing their returns. Failure to enact legislation that is consistent with the department’s proposal will require taxpayers who have already filed to amend their returns at a later date.”

“This is not a complicated issue. Does the State want to encourage businesses-owners to make investments in their businesses, employees, and Maine or not? Our businesses deserve to know whether the 127th Legislature intends to increase their tax burden,” Governor LePage said.

Timeline

December 18, 2015 – Congress passes and the President signs a federal spending bill that includes long-term or permanent extensions of the so-called “tax extenders”.

December 22, 2015 – Governor LePage announces the State of Maine will consider conformity options, provided support exists among legislative leadership to continue Maine’s conformity the federal Code.

January 8, 2016 – DAFS announces plans to submit legislation that will continue to conform Maine’s income tax law to federal tax law

January 19, 2016 – Income tax filing period opens in Maine

January 25, 2016 – Public Hearing Held

January 27, 2016 – Work Session Held

February 3, 2016 – Next Work Session Scheduled

Public Hearing

At least 15 individuals or groups spoke or submitted testimony in support of the Department’s legislation.

• 10 business owners or organization
o Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine
o AdvancePierre Foods
o Cianbro
o J&S Oil
o Maine State Chamber of Commerce
o Maine Motor Transport
o Volk Packaging
• 3 State Representatives
• 1 Senator
• 1 Commissioner

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