MSBA Legislative Update 05-22-09
TAX REFORM NOT YET DECIDED
LD 1088, a bill proposing to make a number of structural changes to Maine’s tax code in an effort to create tax reform, is still under discussion before the Taxation Committee. The Committee held a work session on May 21, and will hold another work session on May 26. To date, the Committee is discussing whether to raise the tax on meals and lodging, broaden the sales tax base to apply to certain services (not professional) and additional items, lower the income tax rates, in an effort to export some of Maine’s current tax burden to tourists, while providing income tax changes to Maine’s residents.
The effort was started over two years ago by Rep. John Piotti, and he has continued his interest to pursue the topic, by sponsoring LD 1088. We expect the Taxation Committee to report out a bill shortly, so that the full Legislature may undertake deliberations and debate in early June.
Court facilities proposal
LD 882, as we reported last week, was reported successfully out of the Judiciary Committee and has now been incorporated into the proposed biennial budget bill. The proposed budget was voted “Ought-to-Pass as Amended” by the Appropriations Committee, and is expected to start its deliberations before the full House and Senate the week of May 26. The vote out of the Appropriations Committee was bi-partisan, and it is expected the proposed budget will receive bi-partisan support when it reaches the floor.
BIG ISSUES REMAINING
Most Committees have finished all of their work, with just a few such as the Taxation Committee still reviewing tax reform (LD 1088) and the Judiciary Committee still reviewing the annual errors and inconsistencies law, yet to finish. Big issues that will be before the House and Senate in the remaining days of the Legislative Session which will receive significant debate include the issues relating to tax reform (LD 1088), a comprehensive energy efficiency bill from the Select Energy Committee (no LD number assigned yet), and a bill incorporating energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions into the Site Location of Development Law (LD 1333). Though the biennial budget will receive some debate (LD 353) it is expected to move relatively quickly through the process and is expected to receive support on a bi-partisan basis.
For the status of other issues of interest, please review the attached Legislative Database.
An updated Legislative Database is attached to this Weekly Report for your information. It contains any newly introduced bills that we have identified of interest to the MSBA along with updated status listings of previously introduced bills.
Click here for your Legislative Database.
Click here for a text document of this report.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:
Pattie Aho at 207-622-6311 or email@example.com