While Republicans in the Maine Legislature are struggling to repeal a voter-approved income tax surcharge on Maine’s highest earners, the vast majority of households that would be affected by the surcharge live in areas that consistently and overwhelmingly vote for Democrats, according to statistics from the Internal Revenue Service.

Last November, Maine voters approved a new 3% surcharge on annual household income above $200,000 to fund statewide education.

The measure is forecast to generate over $320 million in new income tax revenue for school funding over 2 years. But in negotiations over the state budget this month, Republican efforts to repeal the new tax rate have become the major stumbling block for a budget agreement. If lawmakers do not pass a budget by Friday, the state government may shut down.

Data from the Internal Revenue Service for the 2014 tax year, the most recent year available, breaks down where these high-income households live, by ZIP code. These statistics are illustrated in the map below. For privacy, the IRS suppresses statistics in ZIP codes where there are fewer than 20 tax returns reporting over $200,000 in income: these areas are shaded yellow.

Search by ZIP code or town name

Notes: these statistics reflect reported adjusted gross income from income tax filings in each ZIP code. The number of filings is not equivalent to the number of people, since there are many joint and household filings. Adjusted gross income includes income from S-corporations, dividends, investments and net income from filers’ businesses.
SOURCE: U.S. Internal Revenue Service
INTERACTIVE: Christian MilNeil | @c_milneil

Statewide, fewer than 1 in 40 tax returns claimed income higher than $200,000 a year in 2014. But the ratio of high-income tax returns is substantially higher in a handful of coastal communities in Greater Portland and the midcoast region.

In the town of Cumberland, for instance, where only 33% of voters supported Donald Trump, 1 in 7 returns reported income over $200,000. In Yarmouth, where Trump won just 27% of the vote, 1 in 8 tax returns met the high-earner threshold.

Indeed, many of the towns where the most high-income taxpayers live are also towns where Democrats Hillary Clinton and Mike Michaud won some of their strongest support in the 2016 presidential election and 2014 gubernatorial election, respectively. The maps below shows how each town voted in those statewide elections – note the similarities between these maps and the maps above:

2016 election results, by town

INTERACTIVE: Christian MilNeil | @c_milneil

2014 gubernatorial election results, by town

INTERACTIVE: Christian MilNeil | @c_milneil

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