Sat, Nov 01, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Letter: Maine needs equitable non-resident tax

Opinion

Letter: Maine needs equitable non-resident tax

Why does our Legislature refuse to address non-resident, income tax equitability when their property taxes are subsidized with our income taxes? It’s accomplished through revenue sharing to the communities and is unconscionable.

Maine receives no income or vehicle registration tax revenues from “seasonal citizens.” Yet, they whimsically enjoy and recharge their being with our “quality of life” while we bear the tax burden to maintain our governmental infrastructure for their immediate use. In fact, our income tax burden is so skewed that many retiring state residents immediately switch their tax residence to a no-income tax state such as Florida.

In checking our state’s tax revenue data, the categories producing the most (income and excise tax) do not hit the seasonal residents; by definition, they are exempt. They contribute meagerly to supplementary tax categories (i.e. sales tax, soda, wine, beer). Ironically, property tax is the major category in which they do participate and which local governments desperately try to lower. Talk about shooting ourselves collectively in the foot.

What is the logic in extending state income tax-supported, revenue sharing to out-of-state property owners? None that I can understand.

The Legislature should create an income/property tax linkage, which requires non-residents to equitably contribute to overall tax revenues through their property tax, while not raising the residential property tax burden for Maine citizens.

Additionally, if the Legislature became creative and accomplished non-resident tax equitability, we might just be able to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Stephen Gorden
Yarmouth