The Maine State Chamber of Commerce has switched its position on tax reform. The group said Wednesday that it opposes Question 1 on the state ballot, which would repeal the tax reform law passed by the Legislature last year.

The law would lower the state income tax for 95 percent of Maine residents and expand the sales tax, shifting $50 billion to nonresidents, the chamber said in announcing its position.

“Lowering the income tax rate has been something that the Maine State Chamber of Commerce has long advocated for,” said Dana Connors, president of the chamber. “We hope the law is given the opportunity to work, and are confident that it will help businesses here in Maine while attracting additional investment to this state from other parts of the country.”

The chamber was part of a coalition that urged Gov. John Baldacci to veto tax reform last summer. The coalition opposed the increase in some real estate transfer taxes and worried about effects on the tourism industry.

Now, however, the chamber says the new law should be put into effect.

Steve Culver, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, and Connors issued a statement Wednesday that said the opportunity to lower income taxes on workers and businesses is too important to pass up. They said improvements in the law can be made in future legislative sessions.


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