Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage has made eliminating the individual income tax a cornerstone of his latest campaign for the Blaine House.
Earlier this month, LePage demanded that Gov. Janet Mills use the state’s budget surplus to lower Maine’s income tax instead of distributing $500 checks to 800,000 people, arguing that the tax cut would be a greater windfall for working Mainers.
However, economic reports show that LePage-style economics significantly increase taxes for the bottom 80% of Maine families while enriching the wealthiest. In some instances under LePage’s tax policies, Maine’s richest have avoided more than $20,000 in taxes while the bottom 80% have paid an average of $85 more.
“The income tax is the only broad tax in Maine that balances out the other taxes like sales and property taxes that ask more of low and middle income households,” said Sarah Austin, director of policy and research at the Maine Center for Economic Policy.