Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By REP. MARK BRYANT
There has been much back and forth on these pages in the last week regarding the tax policies passed by the state Legislature under Republican control. Whether the Republican lawmakers want to admit it or not, their tax proposal primarily benefited the wealthy. The facts speak for themselves.
As a member of the Legislature's Taxation Committee, I can tell you what the tax cut actually did: It eliminated the state alternative minimum tax on individuals, lowered the top income tax rate in 2013 from 8.5 percent to 7.95 percent, doubled the estate tax exemption from $1 million to $2 million and cut property tax relief to more than 75,000 low- and middle-income Maine families by 20 percent, as much as $400.
What does this actually mean for you? If you are a middle-class family in Maine, you can expect to get back under $100 in income tax cuts, but if you make more than $350,000, you can expect to get back nearly $3,000.
Aside from being skewed to help the wealthy, the cuts have not been paid for. The cost was passed on to future legislators who will have to choose between funding for our schools, health care and communities when the bill comes due.
I'm not up for re-election. I voted against these tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy. I have no reason to mislead the public.
The facts show that the cuts are fiscally irresponsible. They primarily benefit Maine's wealthiest taxpayers and were funded by cutting investments in our people and our communities.
The plan also shifts costs to municipalities and local property taxpayers, worsening Maine's revenue shortfall and undermining our economic recovery.
Rep. Mark Bryant, D-Windham, is a member of the Legslature's Taxation Committee.