Late last week, Governor Paul LePage released the biennium budget proposal for years 2018-19 as well as a supplemental budget for the rest of fiscal year2017. The budget document is hundreds of pages long and primarily focuses on tax and education reform.
Some highlights include:
- A reduction of the top individual income tax rate from 10.15 percent to a flat tax of 5.75 percent
- A repeal of the existing state funding formula to redirect state support to direct instruction and create a statewide teacher contract
- Additional funding to reduce current waitlists for services, primarily for those with disabilities
- The creation of a new cabinet-level Department of Technology Services
- The elimination of approximately 500 state jobs
- A minimum $400 tax credit for residents age 65 and older with incomes of less than $20,000
- An expansion of the sales tax to include amusement and recreation services; household services; installation, repair and maintenance services; personal services and personal property services
- An increase in the sales tax rate on lodging from nine percent to 10%
Over the coming weeks, the Legislature will begin to hold hearings and solicit public input on the various components included within the budget. To view the budget proposals, click here.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding anything happening in Augusta, feel free to call me at (207) 287-1505.
Senator David Woodsome represents District 33, which consists of Cornish, Limerick, Newfield, Parsonsfield, Sanford, Shapleigh, and Waterboro.