Speaker Eves, Senator Alfond welcome support from community leaders for tax reform plan
AUGUSTA – A bipartisan coalition of 12 mayors from cities and towns across the state on Tuesday endorsed key elements included in the Democrats’ Better Deal for Maine tax reform plan. The plan cuts taxes for the middle class, lowers property taxes for all Maine homeowners and invests in Maine schools, workers and communities.
During a press conference at the State House, the mayors expressed strong support for increasing broad property tax relief under the Homestead exemptions as well as funding for revenue sharing and local aid to schools.
“We are pleased to see a group of bipartisan mayors endorse key elements of our plan,” said House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick. “Momentum continues to grow for the Better Deal for Maine because it moves our economy in the right direction. It rejects the failed trickle-down economics that have undercut our middle class families and instead invests in our people and our communities.”
The Better Deal for Maine provides $120 million in direct property tax relief for young families and seniors. It also increases revenue sharing from $62 to $80 million per year, while providing targeted income tax cuts to middle and low income families.
“It’s further validation that the Better Deal for Maine plan is the right plan for our communities and economy,” said Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “These mayors know first-hand the challenges of local city government: the bare to the bones budgets, the growing needs and demands, and the desire to make our communities strong and attractive. Our plan is the best plan to ensure the health, safety, and vibrancy of our towns and cities while growing our middle class.”
Speaker Eves and Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond announced the Better Deal for Maine plan to counter Governor Paul LePage’s budget. According to a new analysis from the national non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Maine Center on Economic Policy, the Better Deal for Maine would cut taxes, on average, for the bottom 95 percent of Maine taxpayers. It would provide a larger tax break than the Governor’s plan, on average, for the bottom 80 percent of Maine taxpayers.
The leaders will hold a second town hall on the Better Deal plan at 6 p.m. in Scarborough at Camp Ketcha. The leaders held their first town hall meeting on the Better Deal for Maine last Wednesday in Bangor with more than 100 people and held a tele-town hall on Thursday with more than 7,000 participants.