AUGUSTA (WGME) – Communities across Maine are hoping for a financial boost as Gov. Janet Mills promises to increase revenue sharing.
Historically the state has shared about 5 percent of its tax revenues with cities and towns. In recent years that number has gotten smaller, down closer to 2 percent under the current budget signed by former Gov. Paul LePage.
Gov. Janet Mills has proposed increasing revenue sharing to 2.5 percent in the first year of her budget and then up to 3 percent in the second year.
“Revenue sharing is incredibly important to municipalities because other than the property tax, there’s really no other source of revenue for municipalities to fund programs,” said Kate Dufour of the Maine Municipal Association.
But the governor’s new revenue sharing plan does have its critics.
Republicans have questioned Mills’ budget plan as a whole, including revenue sharing, saying it goes too far and is “unsustainable.”
Meanwhile, some progressive leaders, including Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, say her budget plan does not go far enough and that revenue sharing should be restored to the 5 percent level.
“You know, anytime we don’t receive the kind of revenue we need from the state that we expect and have been promised, it means Portland taxpayers have to pick up that tab,” Strimling said.