Maine Gov. Paul LePage called for general income tax Internal Revenue Code (IRC) conformity with the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97). In his final State of the State address, he also proposed expansion of the educational opportunity credit, and property tax relief.
According to the governor, IRC conformity simplifies tax filing and avoids state costs for certain duplicate services (e.g., additional auditors). The governor also said that he will propose legislation to conform Maine law to the new federal law. However, since strict conformity would result in a tax increase to Maine residents, his bill will include provisions to offset any tax increase.
A conformity bill (S.P. 612) has already been introduced in the Maine Senate.
Educational Opportunity Credit
The governor also proposed simplifying and increasing the state’s educational opportunity income tax credit. Currently, the credit is equal to a certain portion of an individual taxpayer’s student loan payment. The credit is also available to certain employers that make student loan payments on behalf of an employee.
Property Tax Relief
To reduce property taxes, the governor said it was time for all property owners to contribute to the local tax by paying taxes or a fee in lieu of taxes. He also submitted a bill to protect the elderly from tax lien foreclosures.
State of the State Address, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, February 13, 2018