For the Manufacturers Association of Maine and its 400 members, who employ more than 28,000 highly skilled workers, tax reform is important for the retention and growth of Maine’s manufacturing sector. Sen. Susan Collins remained true to our state’s motto, leading the charge on Capitol Hill to bring our tax code into the 21st century and ensure a good deal for middle-class families.

Our senior senator did not blindly accept the tax bill – she worked hard to shape the legislation in a way that benefits workers and businesses. Sen. Collins has it right when she says the revised bill will “provide much-needed tax relief and simplification for lower- and middle-income families.”

Manufacturing is critical to the health of Maine’s economy. Annually, it contributes an economic output of $5.3 billion, accounting for about 9 percent of our gross state product. Some 1,400 manufacturers drive our economy and employ over 50,600 individuals earning 32 percent higher wages on average than Maine’s typical earner.

The Manufacturers Association of Maine surveyed its members in November, and 75 percent wanted lower corporate taxes, 28 percent responded that it would make their businesses more competitive, 26 percent said they would invest more in equipment and research, and 21 percent would be looking at raises for employees. It should be clear that businesses, workers and families have been disadvantaged by our unfair tax code.

Tax reform is not done yet. The conference committee is drafting a final bill for a vote in both the House and Senate, and President Trump has to sign it. Tax reform will be a win for manufacturing in Maine. We need Sen. Collins to persevere in her efforts to deliver comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform before the end of the year.

Lisa G. Martin

executive director, Manufacturers Association of Maine

Portland