Proposed Bill To Equalize State and Local Taxation And It Only Costs 1Cent
I was reading this proposal put together by House Majority Leader Seth Berry of Bowdoinham which seem fair and equitable. It makes fro interesting reading even if you whether or not you agree.
Berry proposes Buffet Rule for Maine
Proposal would bring total state and local tax rate for incomes over $250K to average paid by all other Mainers
AUGUSTA – Taxation rates for the state’s highest-income households would come into alignment with the rates paid by all other Mainers under a measure proposed today by House Majority Leader Seth Berry of Bowdoinham.
Berry’s measure, LD 1113, “An Act To Provide Tax Fairness for Maine’s Middle Class and Working Families,” follows the same philosophy as the federal Buffet Rule: that everyone should pay their fair share. Under Berry’s bill, Mainers with annual incomes of at least $250,000 would pay at least the same effective rate in state and local taxes as the average paid by all other taxpayers.
“This bill seeks to make our tax code fairer by correcting an imbalance that puts too much of the burden on lower- and middle-income Maine people,” Berry said. “People making more than $250,000 a year can afford to pay at least as much per dollar as those making $48,000.”
According to the most recent data available from Maine Revenue Services, the highest-income households currently pay an average overall state and local tax rate of roughly 10 cents per dollar. By comparison, the average Maine household pays slightly more than 11 cents.
On average, Berry’s Buffet Rule would require just one penny more per dollar from those making $250,000 and above. Revenues, estimated at $200 million in the first biennium, would fill half the budget gap created by new tax cuts largely benefiting the wealthy. The unfunded cuts passed under the Republican-controlled Legislature begin going into effect this year.
Starting in 2016, Berry’s Buffet Rule would fund tax reductions for all working and middle class families.
The bill’s co-sponsors include House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick, Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland and Rep. Joseph Brooks, an independent from Winterport.
“Here we have the opportunity to pay our bills for past tax cuts, implement fairer taxes and cut taxes for most Maine families -- in many cases by half,” said Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan, one of the bill's co-sponsors.
According to Maine Revenue Services, a single parent with two children, working full-time at minimum wage, currently pays almost twice as much per dollar in state and local taxes as someone making $1 million per year.
“It is only fair that what we ask of a hard-working, minimum-wage mother, we also ask of a millionaire,” said Rep. Adam Goode of Bangor, another bill co-sponsor and House chairman of the Taxation Committee.
The bill takes a comprehensive look at Maine’s tax structure by considering the impact of income, sales and property taxes on Maine households. Rather than focusing on isolated aspects of the tax code, the bill seeks an accurate assessment of the tax burden to ensure a fair and equal tax treatment across all income levels.
The bill is expected to be referred today to the Taxation Committee, which will hold a public hearing before making a recommendation to the full Legislature.
Maine Legislature, House Democratic Office www.housedemocrats.maine.gov