LePage hopes to eliminate income tax by end of second term
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage said Monday he hopes Maine has no state income tax by the end of his second term if he’s re-elected next year.
“The fact that we have an income tax at all is a massive disadvantage,” LePage said during an afternoon session on tax policy held at the Blaine House for members of his Cabinet and reporters.
LePage on Monday also reiterated previous statementsdefending a proposal in his budget that eliminates revenue sharing with municipalities. LePage said he’s hearing the complaints that his budget will cause significant revenue losses in towns and cities. He said his intention is to start a debate about local control.
“What you’re saying is, we want local control, but we want the state to pay for it. So my point is, if you want local control, let’s have it. If you want to keep taxes down overall, let’s work together,” he said. “Let’s do some consolidating among ourselves rather than have a governor drive it down.”
LePage also repeated criticisms that Maine’s public school system is too heavy on administration and is underperforming states that spend less per student. Former Gov. John Baldacci should have gone further with his school district consolidation law, LePage said.
LePage’s comments came during a presentation he hosted featuring a national speaker who discussed tax policy and interstate migration. Travis Brown, LePage’s invited speaker and president of a Missouri advocacy group that calls for eliminating that state’s income tax, said the nine states that levy no income tax have seen greater gains in wealth and residents over the past 15 years than their income tax-levying counterparts.
The nine states are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, New Hampshire and Tennessee.