Members of the Press,
As you know, instead of working in Augusta toward a budget deal, Democrat Legislative Leaders have been running around the state, holding town hall events to promote all the new spending they plan to do with the “new” revenue from their punishing 3% surtax on Maine small businesses and higher earners.
But, as Maine Public is reporting, income tax revenue is officially flat after the liberal tax hike took effect. http://mainepublic.org/post/maines-forecasting-panel-lowers-revenue-expectations-through-june#stream/0
This is, fundamentally, a case of Democrats ignoring all the evidence that they were presented about this income tax hike not doing what they promised it would do.
The so-called “Opportunity Agenda” being promoted by Democrats relies on a whopping $370 million increase in revenues through the income tax. (Page 9 of the Opportunity Agenda pdf on their website)
State officials just cut that projection to about $6 million.
That is a $364 million structural gap.
There is no way around it.
The liberal desire to punish people through the tax code once again puts us on the edge of a major structural problem with the state budget.
Democrats should immediately recognize they don't have the money they thought they were going to have for their goal of the largest spending increase in Maine history.
It is, sadly, more likely they will somehow try to find a way to blame Republicans for being the adults in the room.
Our hats are off to Senate President Mike Thibodeau, House Leader Ken Fredette and Governor LePage, along with all the Republicans in Augusta who have been resisting Democrat attempts to blow a huge hole in the state budget.
The only 'Opportunity' in the “Opportunity Agenda” is the opportunity to return to the Baldacci era of crisis management and massive budget shortfalls.
Maine deserves better, and Republicans have been doing the hard work on that since January.
All the best,
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