Referendum= Sales Tax Increase?

Dear friends,

Here’s some information we thought you’d like to know:

Governor LePage and the Maine GOP launched a referendum effort this week to reduce Maine’s income tax to 4% over the next 5 years. In order to make up the revenue, LePage said he would  raise the sales tax.

Below are the quotes from several news sources:

“At a town hall meeting in Farmington on Tuesday, the governor said that the state could raise sales taxes.”
Free Press, September 25, 2015

“LePage assured the crowd that no benefits would be cut to make up for the annual $3 billion loss in revenue that would come from eliminating the income tax. Rather, the state would increase its sales tax to tap into the summer revenue from tourists and practice “efficient” spending when it comes to welfare programs.”
Portland Press Herald, September 22, 2015

The exact statement the Governor made can be seen in this video clip, at approximately the 54:00 mark.

Responding to a question about the impact of the referendum on property taxes and school budgets, LePage said this:

“It shouldn’t have any impact on it because you’re replacing it with a higher sales tax and a broader sales tax. So it should not have any impact on it.”

The information about the Governor’s referendum initiative has been limited so far. It is important that Maine Republicans move forward with tax and welfare reform in a common-sense manner, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the referendum plan as the details emerge.