Sunday, March 6, 2011


In the proposed budget for the State of Maine:

Budget facts

This two-year budget would levy a 2% personal income tax on teachers and state employees and cut benefits for retirees for a cost of $203 million. At the same time, the state would provide $200 million in tax cuts for business. A reasonable conclusion is that public employees are paying for the tax cuts.
Under full implementation of the governor's proposed income and estate tax changes, approximately half the benefits would go to the wealthiest 10% of taxpayers. The proposals would:
Eliminate the state alternative minimum tax, which today helps to ensure that wealthy taxpayers pay their fair share.
Lower the tax rate on incomes above about $50,000 from 8.5% to 7.95%.
Double from $1 million to $2 million the size of estates exempt from the estate tax – giving millions of dollars in tax breaks to Maine's wealthiest 550 families.
Fully implemented, over 80% of the benefits of proposed tax changes go to taxpayers with incomes greater than $63,648 at a cost to the state of $203 million in the coming biennium.
If this income tax is imposed, Maine average teacher salary would decline from 44th in the country to 49th.

Hope for a bipartisan solution

Educators say they are willing to help the state through a temporary cash flow crunch, but are unwilling to be the political scapegoat sacrificed to appease the Tea Party. The hope for rebuffing this retirement lies with finding a bipartisan solution.

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