Public hearings on the taxation portions of the Governor’s proposed biennial budget continued today with testimony on the elimination if the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR) program and its collapse into the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE)program, the transfer of the Telecommunication’s property tax to municipalities in the morning and various changes to property taxes including the elimination of the Homestead exemption for those under 65 years of age and the establishment of a property tax on non-profits,
New State Education subsidy reports
The Department of Education released the General Purpose Aid to Education (GPA) printouts for your school districts upcoming year today. The figures are based on the acceptance of the proposals in the Governor’s biennial budget and supplemental budgets. See how your school fares here:
Here is further testimony from yesterday’s hearing on Revenue Sharing.
BETR/BETE and Telecoms tax
Commissioner Rosen’s testimony in support of the Governor’s initiatives regarding BETR/BETE and was met by opposition from businesses and municipalities alike:
Towns raised a significant concern that exempting property from taxation will have unforeseen impacts on town valuations causing shifts in the distribution of such funds as State aid to education.
Homestead Exemption and Non-profit tax
Commissioner Rosen presented his testimony in favor of the Governor’s proposals to make several changes to property tax programs. Significantly, the elimination of the Homestead Exemption for those under 65 years of age and the imposition of a municipal property tax on non-profits.
Members of the public presented nearly unanimous opposition to the Governor’s proposals citing that Increased property taxes and diminished municipal services would result from the governor’s proposed $6.5 billion budget. A key component of his budget is the elimination of the revenue sharing funds that local communities rely on to pay for vital services like schools, firefighting road maintenance and snow plowing, all while keeping property taxes in check for residents and small businesses.
The LePage administration contends that local communities can make up for some of that lost revenue by making certain large non-profit organizations pay property taxes. But of Maine’s fewer than 500 municipalities, more than 400 would not be able to take advantage of this provision in the governor’s budget, according to an estimate from the Maine Municipal Association.
Hearings on the sales and use and service provider tax portions of the Governor’s budget resume Monday morning at 10:00AM.
The full schedule is available here.
You may listen to the hearing here or join us in Room 228.