March 1, 2011

Businesses back tax cuts
at hearing on state budget

The $200 million proposal benefits the rich much more than the poor, opponents say.

By Susan M. Cover
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

She said the budget proposes a "modest change," considering that the federal estate tax exclusion is $5 million.

David Clough, state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said he wanted to "express strong support for relieving tax burdens on small firms."

He also said a $200 million package of tax reductions would have a psychological effect in the business community.

"It does send a signal to business owners that Maine gets the message," he said.

Also Monday, Millett told lawmakers that the state will likely pay nearly $30 million to the federal government because of a ruling against the state on Friday.

A federal judge ruled that the state was too aggressive in applying for federal matching funds in the early 2000s and, as a result, the state must pay back the money, Millett said.

He's proposing that the money be taken from the state's rainy day and capital improvement funds, which now total $35 million. The committee asked him to find out more about a possible appeal or ways to pay back the money that would not require the state to nearly empty its reserves.

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at:


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