Tuesday – Senate & House, 10 a.m.
Tuesday – Joint Session (Governor’s State of the State), 6:30 p.m.
Thursday – Senate & House, 10 a.m.
LD 333 – LD 464 printed
New titles of interest include:
- Eliminate the 3% income tax surcharge (LD 337)
- Develop long-range strategic plan for economic improvement (LD 367)
- Establish universal health care for Maine (LD 386)
- State Budget for fiscal years 2018 & 2019 (LD 390)
- Establish Maine Buy Local month (LD 402)
- Strengthen Maine’s transportation infrastructure (LD 437)
- Encourage consumers to comparison-shop for certain health care procedures (LD 445)
STATE OF THE STATE
Governor LePage is scheduled to speak to a joint session of the Senate and House on the evening of February 7. Topics are likely to include the 3% surtax, minimum wage law, energy costs for large businesses, tax reform, and state spending on education.
MOST STATE SPENDING IN A FEW AREAS
More than $9 out of $10 in General Fund spending goes to 10 agencies. The remaining 58 agencies account for less than 70 cents for every $10 dollars in spending, according to the “Governor’s Budget Overview” document that is posted on the Bureau of the Budget website.
General Fund – Total $6,732,165,018 $6,841,722,477
Dept. Education 2,357,620,425 2,435,153,870
Dept. Health/Human Services 2,341,371,419 2,238,671,530
Higher Education (UMS,
MCCS, MMA) 548,016,646 570,842,559
Dept. Corrections 356,427,088 355,044,918
Dept. Finance/Admin. 287,007,158 253,582,966
State Treasurer Office 163,498,623 221,382,974
Judicial Dept. 137,550,799 153,155,998
Dept. Public Safety 89,641,116 141,686,252
BUDGET HEARINGS ON TAX ISSUES
Public hearings commence next week on the proposed 2018-2019 biennial State Budget. Key provisions and timing include:
Feb. 7, 1 p.m.
- Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR) elimination in 2018, transition of eligible property to the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) program, and phase out by 2027 of property at a retail sales facility and used primarily in retail sales activity
- Retail sales facility property elimination from either BETR or BETE for property placed into service on or after April 1, 2018
Feb. 10, 10 a.m.
- Corporate income tax reduction to 8.33% from 8.93%
- Individual income tax three-year phase in of a single-bracket and 5.75% flat rate
- Sales tax base expansion to include 5.5% tax on various services (recreation & amusement; personal; domestic & household; personal property except those sold to a business for business use; installation, repair & maintenance except those sold to a business for business use)
- Estate (death) tax elimination for residents dying in 2018
The hearings will be held by the Appropriations Committee jointly with the Taxation Committee.