Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Republicans Trying To Thwart Democrat’s Anti-Jobs Agenda
Augusta – House Republicans are once again being forced to drag our Democratic colleagues across the finish line on a simple bill that, if passed, would send the message to businesses that they are welcome and they’ll be appreciated here in Maine.
This afternoon, the Appropriations Committee will consider LD 138, typically a rubber-stamp housecleaning bill to bring Maine’s tax code in line with the federal tax code. A major piece of this legislation deals with the bonus equipment depreciation exemption that would allow businesses to claim tax deductions on equipment and other business related purchases. It’s part of the federal tax policy that allows part of those costs to be immediately deducted from the taxable income of the business. The rest of the cost is deducted over the life of the equipment and provides businesses with additional money that can be used to hire new employees. Here in Maine, bonus depreciation is administered under the Maine Capital Investment Credit.
Congress waited until December 16, 2014 to pass a budget resolution that extended a number of tax breaks for 2014, including the bonus depreciation provision.
The six Republicans on the Taxation Committee, joined by one Independent, moved swiftly to pass the measure by a narrow 7-6 vote. The six who voted in opposition represent the Democrats on the committee.
“If Democrats are serious about creating jobs in Maine, this is the type of legislation they need to support. We’re trying to make Maine a more attractive destination for businesses by sending the message that we’re here to help you succeed, not make life more difficult on you,” said Rep. Stedman Seavey of Kennebunkport, House Republican Lead on the Taxation Committee.
Many companies have already filed their 2014 taxes which included the Maine Capital Investment Credit which just about everyone anticipated they would get. This 11th hour game of chicken the Democrats have decided to play runs the risk of scaring off potential employers and could cost the state jobs in the long run.
Rep. Peter Lyford of Eddington owns a hydroseeding and commercial landscaping business with locations in Gorham and Hermon.
“Businesses like predictability and pulling the rug out from under them and costing them money they had already banked on is beyond wrong, it goes against everything we were sent to Augusta to do. If we stub our toe here it will take a long time for us to build up that trust with the business community again,” Rep. Lyford said.
This deduction represents roughly $10 million in tax revenue in the current year. That’s a small price to pay for the pro-business message it sends. Democrats have been parading all over the state preaching a jobs initiative but when they’re here in Augusta, their votes and actions are not lining up with their rhetoric. This seems to be a continuing trend but the Maine people deserve better.
The Appropriations Committee will be taking up LD 138 afternoon.