Phil Bartlett, Maine State Senate District Six  
 
 

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Senator Bartlett Proposes Major Tax Reform Plan

February 27, 2007

Senator Phil Bartlett, D–Cumberland County , Tuesday, presented to the Legislature’s Taxation Committee a plan to overhaul Maine ’s tax code. Senator Bartlett has been working for months on his plan to create a revenue neutral tax reform measure that will positively impact all Maine taxpayers.

Senator Bartlett’s plan would lower the highest income tax rate to 7.9% while increasing the sales tax rate to 6% in order to offset the loss of revenue. In addition, the earned income credit will increase to 25% of the federal level in order to offset the effects of an increased sales tax on lower income families.

Senator Bartlett has also proposed that the Circuit Breaker program (the Property Tax and Rent Refund Program) increase to $3,000 from the current $2,000 maximum rebate to help provide additional tax relief to homeowners and renters who are most struggling due to rising property taxes. The popular Homestead Exemption program would also significantly increase from $13,000 to $20,000. The state would fund this expansion of the Homestead Exemption.

“This plan provides tax relief to Mainers across all income levels,” Senator Bartlett said. “Importantly, this measure offsets an increase in sales tax with a decrease in the income tax and the property tax,” Senator Bartlett added.

Senator Bartlett proposes that this tax reform measure go to referendum to let Maine voters weigh in on this comprehensive package. “An important consideration in crafting this proposal,” said Senator Bartlett, “was to provide meaningful relief in a straightforward package that would be amenable to public debate in the referendum process.”