The bipartisan agreement includes property tax relief, supports Maine-based businesses and helps working Mainers and families
AUGUSTA -- The Maine Senate unanimously passed compromise legislation to amend Maine’s tax code to reflect some changes made at the federal level and better support Maine-based businesses and families in an initial vote on Tuesday. Key components of the compromise tax deal include property tax relief, incentives for paid family medical leave and child and dependent care tax credit.
“Our goal from the beginning has been to target tax relief to Maine seniors living on a fixed-income and working families,” said Sen. Justin Chenette of Saco, who serves as the ranking Senate Democrat on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee. “While this legislation isn’t perfect, it provides some real relief to hardworking Maine people. I am glad we were able to reach some sort of compromise that includes substantial property tax relief so more Mainers can afford to stay in their homes and a new family medical leave credit to keep young families in Maine.”
The tax bill increases the Property Tax Fairness Credit, a critical income-based property tax and rent relief program for Maine residents, by $10.8 million. Maine seniors can now save up to $1,250 in property taxes and eligible working Mainers and families can save up to $800 on property taxes or rent.
The bill also includes several provisions to support Maine families. First, it creates a new state family medical leave tax credit to incentivize more Maine companies to begin offering paid family medical leave. Paid family medical leave ensures young families can afford to take time to care for their young children and elderly relatives. Second, this tax bill establishes a child and dependent care tax credit which will help families afford quality care for dependents while at work.
Other important provisions of the tax bill include prioritizing relief for Maine-based businesses and mitigates negative impacts from the federal tax bill.
“The wealthy already made out like bandits when the federal tax bill passed late last year,” said Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Nate Libby of Lewiston. “Our proposal prioritizes investments in the people and businesses who contribute to our state and drive our economy: Maine seniors, families and small businesses.”
The bill rejects the LePage administration’s proposal that would have doubled the estate tax exemption and allowed a handful of Maine families to get away without paying taxes on inheritances up to $11 million. It also rejects a provision that would allow out-of-state enterprises to benefit at the expense of Maine small businesses.
LD 1655 faces further votes in the House of Representatives.