DEXTER - Each month the Abbott Memorial Library has a lively discussion with well-informed guests presenting both sides of an issue. On July 6 we present an issue that concerns every taxpayer in Maine.
The Tax Foundation claims Maine is the highest in the nation in total state and local tax burden. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a tax-policy think tank says the Tax Foundation's rankings are flawed. MERI (Maine Economic Research Institute) claims that Maine taxes worst in the country. Maine Heritage Policy Center's (MHPC) Maine Executive Director, Bill Becker, favors a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to limit state and local spending.
The Small Business Survival Index rates Maine 46th in business climate in the nation. The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MCEP) claims Maine's middle income group is 22nd in the U.S. in total state and local tax burden, with the low income group at 33rd place. Maine's top income producer's taxes rank 3rd in the U.S. MCEP claims that the Tax Foundation over estimated Maine's property tax collection by $172 million in 2000.
Maine's non-residents pay 12% of total property taxes that are not counted in the tax calculation.. More recent Census data ranks Maine 16th in state per capita tax burden.
The Maine Revenue Service ranks Maine's effective tax rate at 10.62% and not 13% claimed by the Tax Foundation and Bureau of Economic Analysis based on U.S. Commerce data.
Senator Paul Davis claims that newly passed law LD1 is a "bait and switch technique," and that tax reform is not tax relief.
Prior to 1970, Maine's farm property tax was much higher than the rest of the U.S. Since 1950, the rate of taxation of farmland in Maine has declined by more than half from $2.50 to $1 per hundred of real estate value as of 1993. Farm property taxes average 4.5% of total production expenses. "Maine farm property tax rate is now only slightly higher than the national average." ( University of Maine publication : "Farm Property Taxes in Maine", 2000)
Confused? Join us for an informative and comprehensive discussion of this complicated issue.
|Back to News||Home||Print This Story|