Governor LePage Urges Citizens and Maine Businesses to Contact Their Legislators about Tax Conformity

03 Feb 2016 9:37 AM | Deleted user

 

Governor LePage Urges Citizens and Maine Businesses to Contact Their Legislators about Tax Conformity

February 2, 2016

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Contact: David Heidrich, DAFS Communications Director (207) 624-7453

AUGUSTA – The Office of the Governor is encouraging citizens to contact their legislators to support the LePage Administration’s bill to permanently conform Maine’s tax code to federal tax law, which would prevent a $38 million tax increase on Maine families and businesses.

Tomorrow at 10:00AM, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs is expected to conduct a work session on LD 1564, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services’ (DAFS) conformity legislation, which was supported by Republicans on the taxation committee. Appropriations Republicans are also expected to support the Department’s proposal to extend a number of tax breaks permanently.

Democrats on the appropriations committee are expected to split with their Republican colleagues and instead support a proposal that makes retroactive changes to Maine’s tax law that are only good for 2015, creating uncertainty for all future tax years.

After years of uncertainty on the federal level, Congress has finally provided the guidance necessary for Maine businesses to make long-term investments in their growth. The discussions this week suggest that Maine Democrats would rather emulate the prior dysfunction of Congress on tax policy than provide a clear path forward for Maine’s small business owners and job creators.

The Department’s proposal adopts conformity to the permanent Section 179 expensing provision and extends the Maine Capital Investment Credit, which mirrors federal bonus depreciation, through 2019. The Department’s proposal also permanently conforms Maine to the federal teacher expense deduction, an important tax break to Maine teachers who purchase classroom supplies out of their own pocket. In addition to these important provisions, the legislation will also extend Maine’s conformity to federal tax items affecting itemized deductions for mortgage insurance and a deduction for higher education expenses.

Under the proposal advocated by Democrats in the Maine Legislature, each and every tax incentive included in the administration’s conformity proposal will disappear after the current filing season concludes, creating uncertainty for individuals and businesses planning their 2016 tax obligations. If Maine Democrats truly believe that these are ‘critical tax credits,’ they should make a long-term commitment to Maine families and businesses by supporting our administration’s conformity legislation.

Whether citizens agree with the Department’s proposal or not, pick up the phone and call your legislators, write them a letter or send them an email.

Appropriations Committee Members

Senator James M. Hamper (R-Oxford), Chair
Phone: (207) 539-4586 Email: senatorhamp@gmail.com 
Senator Roger J. Katz (R-Kennebec)
Phone: (207) 485-2394 Email: Roger.Katz@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Linda M. Valentino (D-York)
Phone: (207) 205-0077 Email: senatorvalentino@gmail.com

Representative Margaret R. Rotundo (D-Lewiston), Chair
Phone: (207) 784-3259 Email: Margaret.Rotundo@legislature.maine.gov
Representative John L. Martin (D-Eagle Lake)
Phone: (207) 444-5556 Email: John.Martin@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Linda F. Sanborn (D-Gorham)
Phone: (207) 939-2879 Email: Linda.Sanborn@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Aaron M. Frey (D-Bangor)
Phone: (207) 249-9969 Email: Aaron.Frey@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Erik C. Jorgensen (D-Portland)
Phone: (207) 939-7120 Email: Erik.Jorgensen@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Gay M. Grant (D-Gardiner)
Phone: (207) 582-5882 Email: Gay.Grant@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Tom J. Winsor (R-Norway)
Phone: (207) 527-2233 Email: Tom.Winsor@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Robert W. Nutting (R-Oakland)
Phone: (207) 465-7139 Email: Bob.Nutting@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Heather W. Sirocki (R-Scarborough)
Phone: (207) 883-5609 Email: Heather.Sirocki@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Jeffrey L. Timberlake (R-Turner)
Phone: (207) 225-6016 Email: Jeffrey.Timberlake@legislature.maine.gov

A complete list of members of the Maine Legislature can be found on the House of Representatives' website.

Nearly two dozen businesses and organizations testified in support of the Department’s legislation at its public hearing. Their statements were chronicled in releases from DAFS focusing on Maine businesses and business trade groups.

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