The state gets its revenue by taking it from your paycheck. So far this year, Maine has taken $1.2 billion dollars more from you than is necessary to run state government. This is money on top of the revenues already used by democrats to expand government under the Mills administration over the last three years.
This is Representative Patrick Corey, of Windham, with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
Republicans insisted that this over collected money be returned to Mainers. While we would have returned all $1.2 billion, we were successful in negotiating more than half being returned in the form of $850 checks.
Returning money that was overpaid was a tall order and objected to by some of our democrat colleagues. Ironically, they now seek to claim these checks are to help with President Biden’s cost increases, but this money should never have been collected in the first place. Returning the money that you worked for so that you can purchase household staples no longer affordable because of democrat policies isn’t a gift. Democrats acting like the state is entitled to your entire income and any amount they allow you to keep is something you should be thankful for is outrageous.
Republicans always want government to do with less so you can keep more of the fruits of your labor. The wisdom of this position is apparent to almost everyone now with run-away inflation negatively impacting family budgets and lowering our quality of life. Reducing the burden on Maine citizens should be our top priority.
Some feel that these checks are a gimmick, but it was the only way to get money out of the hands of government and back into the hands of Mainers. Unlike federal stimulus, which was inflationary because it is just printed, these checks are revenues already collected by the state. Since the state cannot print money, the return of over-taxed dollars allows money that was earned to stay in the economy.
There are those that charge the Governor only agreed with republicans to return this money because she is up for re-election in the fall, and her party is the focus of sharp criticism for its mishandling of the economy.
Those concerns are not wrong, but we know that Maine voters cannot be bought.
Family budgets are on average $5,200 less than last year, so why is state government over-collecting $1.2 billion from Maine taxpayers?
With Democrats in control of the House, Senate and Governorship, our options this past session were limited.
When it was clear that using the money to lower broad-based taxes was not possible, we called for returning the people’s money to all filers, that is 920,000 tax filers.
Our negotiators were able to get bipartisan support for returning more money, to more people, than the Governor’s original proposal.
Refund checks to Maine income tax filers were increased from $750 to $850 and are going to 57,000 more Maine citizens than originally proposed thanks to Republicans.
All told, an estimated 858,000 people will have money returned to them instead of money going toward new government spending.
House Republicans also called for structural tax reform for pensioners and retirees.
Our negotiators were able to obtain agreement to enact substantial, structural tax reform for retirees.
The maximum deduction of non-military pensions and retirement from state income tax has been increased from $10,000 to $25,000 in tax year 2022. That same deduction increases an additional by $5,000 in tax year 2023, and another $5,000 in 2024, before reaching a maximum of $35,000 in tax year 2025.
This is a major step toward stopping the flight of up to 80,000 retirees to states that do not tax retirement pensions. It is a major benefit to retirees living on a fixed income and negatively impacted by rising prices.
House Republicans agree with those who say that state government should not have taken an extra $1.2 billion from taxpayers in the first place.
House Republicans know what every day Mainers are going through and how many families cannot keep up with rising prices.
The only viable option was to return money to people rather than have Democrats spend it on new programs that will require additional taxes in the future.
We trust that Maine citizens know how to spend their money better than state government.
Going forward, it matters who controls our government and whether or not they prioritize Maine citizens over virtue signaling or narrow special interests.
If given the opportunity to lead, Republicans will propose solutions that make life easier for you by lowering costs, taxes, and barriers to innovation and job creation.
We want equal opportunity for everyone to be successful, not just government and large conglomerates. The more people that are able to contribute, the better our state will be.
This has been Rep. Patrick Corey with the Weekly Republican Radio Address. Thank you for supporting our efforts, listening, subscribing, sharing, and following us on Facebook and Instagram.