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House OKs bill to restore revenue sharing

Harnett measure would return revenue sharing to five percent

May 21, 2019

Rep. Harnett

AUGUSTA - A measure from Rep. Thom Harnett to restore revenue sharing to 5% retroactive to January 1, 2019 advanced with bipartisan support in the Maine House Tuesday. The vote was 89-49.

"Maine towns and cities have lost $694 million in revenue sharing since 2006, which Maine's property tax payers have had to shoulder," said Harnett, D-Gardiner. This bill is an opportunity to make a real difference for municipalities across the state and reduce the amount of property taxes paid by our friends and neighbors.

The Maine Municipal Revenue Sharing program was created in 1971. In 1973 revenue sharing was set at 4%, and it increased over the next several decades until 2009, when the Legislature set the rate at 5%. However, recent state budgets have only funded revenue sharing at 2% despite revenue sharing statutorily required to be funded at 5%.
Municipal leaders face three choices when crafting budgets every year in the face of dwindling revenue sharing from the state. We can raise property taxes, decrease needed services or dip into fund balances if we have them, said Harnett. In Gardiner, and I imagine throughout the state, we have done all three. That method of budgeting is simply not sustainable.

More information on LD 193 can be found here.

Harnett is serving his first term in the Maine House and serves on the Judiciary Committee. His district includes Gardiner and Farmingdale.

Contact:

Katie Walsh [Harnett], 287-1436, c .776-2122