Soma 365

Maine Headlines

Opponents say nixing income tax would force program cuts
May 05, 2015 20:43 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Critics of Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage's plan to eliminate the income tax say the move would inevitably result in huge cuts to things like education.

LePage wants to amend the constitution to prevent the state from collecting the income tax beginning in 2020. The Legislature's Office of Fiscal and Program Review estimates that it would mean a roughly $1.7 billion annual decrease in general fund revenue.

Aaron Chadbourne, senior policy adviser to the governor, told the Taxation Committee on Tuesday that LePage believes that abolishing the tax and putting more money in Mainers' pockets is one of the most powerful ways to grow the state's economy.

But opponents and Democrats questioned where the state would find the money to fund schools and other programs unless it raises other taxes.