Speaker Gideon Continues To Hold Up $40 Million Tax Cut For Maine People And Businesses
Once again, the Maine House convened for nearly 12 hours yesterday without being allowed to vote on LD 1655, a bill to conform Maine’s tax code to the changes made at the federal level which would provide roughly $40 million in tax relief for Maine families and businesses. The Speaker of the House has full discretion and final say when it comes to what bills are brought forward for a vote. She has repeatedly refused to even allow LD 1655 to be voted on until House Republicans cave in to her demands and allow millions of dollars in taxpayer money to be made available early in order to pay for political campaigns.
This case of misplaced priorities is striking but what may be even more surprising is the fact the Speaker is getting a complete pass from the media. If LD 1655 is not brought up for a vote, in addition to denying hard-working Maine people a tax break, it would also force Maine’s businesses, large and small, to keep two sets of books in order to properly file their taxes. This would cost businesses time and money unnecessarily because the Speaker of the House has prioritized the best interests of Augusta politicians ahead of the best interests of the people of Maine.
“House Republicans have been ready and waiting to vote in favor of tax conformity,” said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette. “The people of Maine and our business community are being forced to live through this uncertainty because the Speaker refuses to allow a vote on the bill. Conforming Maine’s tax code to the new federal law is fundamentally about our businesses being more competetive in New England and nationally. Punishing 1.3 million people in order to secure more taxpayer money for politicians’ campaigns is just wrong.”
“We worked for months to craft a tax conformity bill that garnered overwhelming bipartisan support in the Taxation Committee. I’m proud of the work we have done on behalf of the people and our business community here in Maine,” said Rep. Gary Hilliard of Belgrade, the ranking House Republican on the Taxation Committee. “This is a great example of the type of work we were all sent to Augusta to do. I urge the Speaker to do the right thing and allow a vote on LD 1655, then we can move on to a debate over taxpayer funding for political campaigns.”
It’s hard to believe Democratic gubernatorial candidate Janet Mills would support the Speaker’s position of prioritizing political campaigns ahead of tax relief for the Maine people and Maine businesses.
House Republicans urge the media to visit some of the nearly 2,000 businesses in Freeport and ask them how they feel about their state representative jeopardizing tax conformity over more taxpayer dollars to fund political camapaigns. We also strongly suggest the people of Maine and Maine’s business community contact the Speaker’s office at 207-287-1300 and tell the Speaker it’s time to put her constituents and the people of Maine ahead of politicians. It’s beyond time to allow a vote on LD 1655.