This legislative session's tax plan buffet has been laid out. It's now up to the Taxation Committee and the legislature to choose the tastiest morsels.
Baldacci's plan calls for a slight reduction in the highest state income tax rate, an increase in the low-income tax credit, and an eventual elimination of both the personal property tax on business equipment and the business equipment tax reimbursement program (BETR).
Sen. Joseph Perry, D-Bangor, and Rep. Richard Woodbury, U-Yarmouth, the Taxation Committee chairmen, have their own plan which would flatten the state income tax at 6% and create a broader sales tax at 4%. (The BDN believes this plan is DOA)
Rep. Ben Dudley D-Portland and a coalition of progressive groups called "Taxpayers for a Fair Budget" have submitted a plan that would create a more graduated income tax, increase property tax relief and cut parts of the BETR in order to help small businesses.
I haven't heard much from the Maine Heritage Policy Center, but they're probably backing a plan calling for a merger of the state's school lunch program and the hazardous waste disposal system in order to fund a tax cut for millionaires. Or something like that.
Other items of discussion include the implementation of a local-option sales-tax provision that could be used to raise funds for local development projects and a possible increase in "sin" taxes on alcohol and cigarettes.
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