Sen. Dana Dow, R-Lincoln, has sponsored legislation to roll back the three percent surtax on business owners and households earning more than $200,000. If passed, LD 571, “An Act To Eliminate the 3 Percent Surcharge on Certain Income and Provide an Alternative Funding Source for the Fund To Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education,” would eliminate the new income tax designed to increase funding to K-12 education, replacing the funds with taxes from other sources, such as the those collected from the sale of recreational marijuana products, on Airbnb stays, and from Amazon sales, until the state has met the 55-percent funding obligation.
“The people of Maine voted to make education funding a top priority over a decade ago when they voted on a referendum to require the state to pay 55 percent of the cost of education,” said Dow. “Last year, they again voted to increase education funding with the passage of Question 2. Unfortunately, to fund this increase in support, Question 2 raised Maine’s income-tax rate significantly, making it the highest in the country.
“This new income-tax rate makes our state uncompetitive, both on a regional and national scale. As a result, we’ve already started to see businesses, health-care professionals, and other affected citizens leave our state, taking jobs and resources with them, because they can’t afford to operate here under these conditions.
“We have heard the people’s message loud and clear in Augusta; funding our schools will continue to be a top priority. But we can’t reach this goal off the backs of Maine’s employers and small businesses. That’s why I’ve proposed a bill to eliminate this new income tax and instead use other forms of tax revenue to achieve our 55-percent funding goal for education.”
LD 571 has been referred to the Committee on Taxation for consideration.