This Week in Augusta – 01.31.2017 Edition

Date: January 31, 2017

SESSION

Tuesday – Senate & House, 10 a.m.

Thursday – Senate & House, 10 a.m.

http://legislature.maine.gov/

LEGISLATION

LD 1 – LD 332 printed

New titles of interest include:

  • Increase jurisdictional limits for Small Claims Court to $15,000 from $6,000 (LD 283)
  • Maintain the income tax rate at 7.15% for taxable incomes over $200,000 (LD 291)
  • Eliminate corporate welfare and provide tax relief (LD 311)

 

BUDGET HEARINGS ON TAX ISSUES

Public hearings commence next week on the proposed 2018-2019 biennial State Budget.  Key provisions and timing include:

  • Homestead Property Tax Exemption restriction to people 65 and older – Feb. 6, 10 a.m.
  • Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR) elimination in 2018, transition of eligible property to the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) program, and phase out by 2027 of property at a retail sales facility and used primarily in retail sales activity – Feb. 7, 1 p.m.
  • Retail sales facility property elimination from either BETR or BETE for property placed into service on or after April 1, 2018 – Feb. 7, 1 p.m.
  • Corporate income tax reduction to 8.33% from 8.93% – Feb. 10, 9 a.m.
  • Individual income tax phase in of a single-bracket and 5.75% flat rate – Feb. 10, 9 a.m.
  • Sales tax base expansion to include 5.5% tax on various services (recreation & amusement; personal; domestic & household; personal property except those sold to a business for business use; installation, repair & maintenance except those sold to a business for business use) – Feb. 10, 9.m.
  • Estate (death) tax elimination for residents dying in 2018 – Feb. 10, 9 a.m.

The hearings will be held by the Appropriations Committee jointly with the Taxation Committee.

STATE OF THE STATE

Governor LePage is scheduled to speak to a joint session of the Senate and House on the evening of February 7.

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