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Maine Independent Lawmakers Propose Compromise Tax Conformity Plan

Mal Leary
Maine Public
Rep. Norm Higgins at Independents news conference

The five independents in the Maine legislature have come together to propose a compromise concerning the tax conformity plan. This effort is an attempt to get lawmakers talking about a major unresolved issue.

Credit Martin Groham
Independent Tax Plan Poster

“I would guess there will be a number of people who will say we haven’t found the best answer,” says former Republican turned Independent Norm Higgins of Dover-Foxcroft. “But I think we have begun the conversation about what a best answer might look like.”

The independents’ plan has something for everybody to like and to oppose. It includes tax breaks for business, as well as lower personal income taxes. Higgins says the whole idea is to get members of both parties back into negotiations around how to bring Maine’s tax laws into conformity with the federal code.

Lawmakers are still waiting to find out if they will convene in a special session this spring to take up a number of unresolved issues, including the effort to bring Maine’s tax laws into conformity with the federal code. Former Democrat Marty Grohman of Biddeford says the issue is key to Maine’s economic future and should not be put off until next year.

“If there is anything that house independents come together around, it's that we are here to move forward, whatever it takes,” Grohman says.

This story was originally published April 25, 2018 at 12:12 p.m. ET.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.