Governor Mills Indicators Supplemental Price range Delivering Important Monetary Aid for Maine Individuals Amid Excessive Prices

“At this time, I’m right here to say to Maine individuals: assistance is on the way in which. You might be our best asset – and this price range delivers for you.”

Sooner or later after profitable the overwhelming assist of the Legislature, Governor Janet Mills signed the supplemental price range into regulation immediately.

The price range delivers $850 direct reduction funds to Maine individuals to assist with the excessive prices of inflation– one of many strongest reduction proposals within the nation. It supplies tax reduction to working Maine households and two years of free group faculty to pandemic-impacted college students, amongst different vital initiatives.

In whole, the price range give again is anticipated to ship $1,700 in reduction to the typical Maine family.

“We’ve got proven as soon as once more that via exhausting work, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents can come collectively to do what is true for Maine individuals — and that we are able to accomplish that with out the rancor or bitter partisanship that has divided Augusta previously,” mentioned Governor Mills. “We might not be capable to management inflation or world markets, however we are able to ensure that Maine individuals have what they should grapple with these rising prices – and that’s what we’re doing. At this time, I’m right here to say to Maine individuals: assistance is on the way in which. You might be our best asset – and this price range delivers for you.”

With Governor Mills’ signature, the emergency laws takes impact instantly. On the course of the Governor, the Division of Administrative and Monetary Providers (DAFS) will subject the funds as shortly as potential to an estimated 858,000 Maine individuals – with a goal date of June 1, 2022 to start supply. The funds can be delivered through mail, which is essentially the most dependable technique of distribution, to make sure that the cash is delivered with out important error.

“Because of the partnership between this Administration and the Legislature, we have now as soon as once more achieved a price range that balances Maine’s spending as required by regulation whereas additionally delivering much-needed reduction to Maine individuals in a method that protects each our residents and the State’s fiscal stability in opposition to future financial downturns,” mentioned Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner for the Division of Administrative and Monetary Providers. “We are going to start the work instantly of getting $850 checks into the mailbox of each Maine grownup who qualifies, and, as all the time, will proceed to rigorously monitor the Maine economic system, the wellbeing of Maine individuals, and Maine’s fiscal well being, investing in long-term options whereas sustaining the State’s stable monetary place.”

Highlights of the supplemental price range embody:

  • Inflation Aid: Offers again greater than half of the State’s surplus – $729.3 million – within the type of one-time $850 checks on to an estimated 858,000 Maine individuals. Delivering reduction on this method supplies Maine individuals with the liberty to determine for themselves how greatest to make use of the cash, whether or not it’s for groceries, fuel, heating gas, electrical energy, or different bills. Recipients should file a Maine particular person revenue tax return as a full-time resident by October 31, 2022 and never be claimed as a depending on one other’s tax return. Eligible Maine individuals will need to have a Federal adjusted gross revenue (FAGI) of lower than: $100,000 if submitting single or if married and submitting individually; $150,000 if submitting as head of family; or $200,000 for {couples} submitting collectively.
  • Tax Break for Maine Retirees: Exempts extra Maine retirement pension from revenue tax, enhancing the deductions for residents from $10,000 to $25,000 in tax 12 months 2022, to $30,000 in tax 12 months 2023 and to $35,000 in tax years 2024 and past. This may present $36.8 million in revenue tax reduction for Maine retirees in 2022, with a mean tax lower of $560 in simply the primary 12 months. Retirement pension revenue from any supply can be tax exempt in Maine as much as $35,0000 per particular person by tax 12 months 2025, offering an annual common tax lower of roughly $795. Army pensions and annual social safety revenue stay totally exempt in Maine.
  • Extra Property Tax Aid: Supplies $7 million in ongoing Basic Fund {dollars} to make sure steady housing by rising the utmost advantage of Maine’s Property Tax Equity Credit score. An estimated 100,000 low- and middle-income property house owners and renters who pay greater than 4 % of their family budgets on property taxes or hire can be eligible for a refundable tax credit score valued at as much as $1,000 every year, with an much more beneficiant $1,500 in most reduction prolonged to seniors.
  • Elevated Tax Aid for Low- and Center-Revenue Working Maine Households: Supplies $27.6 million in ongoing Basic Fund {dollars} so households can afford requirements and battle poverty by rising the worth of Maine’s Earned Revenue Tax Credit score (EITC), which supplies a refundable tax credit score to working Maine individuals and households. This enhance is estimated to assist 100,000 Maine individuals, primarily working households with incomes of lower than $57,414, by rising the utmost profit by a mean of $400 per household, bringing the overall EITC profit per household to a mean of $764 per 12 months.
  • Two Years of Free Group Faculty: Dedicates $20 million in one-time Basic Fund {dollars} to supply as much as two years of free group faculty for all college students from the highschool graduating lessons of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 who enroll in a Maine group faculty full-time.
  • Overhauls Pupil Mortgage Debt Compensation Program: Supplies an annual $2,500 or as much as $25,000 lifetime refundable tax credit score profit for scholar mortgage debt reduction. The supplemental overhauls the Training Alternative Tax Credit score and transforms it into a robust, nation-leading instrument to retire scholar debt for graduates and assist employers to attract individuals from all walks of life to work and reside within the State of Maine.
  • Prevents Tuition Hikes Throughout College of Maine System: Supplies practically $8 million in one-time Basic Fund {dollars} to assist the College of Maine System maintain tuition flat for in-state college students and supplies ongoing funds for the System to spend money on updating and renovating its campus buildings.
  • Will increase Pay for Little one Care Employees and Early Childhood Educators: Supplies greater than $12 million in ongoing Basic Fund {dollars} to extend pay for little one care employees and early childhood educators to strengthen our little one care system throughout Maine, per the objectives of laws sponsored by Home Speaker Ryan Fecteau, and along with the numerous investments the Maine Jobs & Restoration Plan makes in increasing little one care and Pre-Okay schooling.
  • Totally Funds Free College Meals: Supplies practically $27 million in ongoing Basic Fund {dollars}, to be mixed with the $10 million beforehand put aside by the Governor and Legislature, to totally fund common free meals in public faculties, per an initiative spearheaded by Senate President Troy Jackson.
  • Increase Youngsters’s Well being Insurance coverage: Supplies $3.2 million in Basic Fund {dollars}, which is able to leverage greater than $9 million in Federal funding, to broaden the Youngsters’s Well being Insurance coverage Program, in any other case often called CHIP, to supply complete protection to an extra 40,000 Maine children.
  • Will increase MaineCare Charges: Supplies $30 million in ongoing assist from the Basic Fund to totally implement up to date charges for direct assist employee wages, add and speed up new cost-of-living changes for charges, and lift charges to be enough to pay direct assist professionals at 125 % of minimal wage. That is along with the greater than $500 million funding already being made via the at present enacted biennial price range for MaineCare and supplier funds.
  • Helps Maine Hospitals and Nursing Properties: Sends $25 million in one-time funding to Maine hospitals, together with $6.8 million from the Basic Fund, in addition to $25 million in one-time funding to long-term care amenities, together with $7.5 million from the Basic Fund, to assist these Maine well being care organizations cope with one-time pandemic associated prices.
  • Tackles PFAS: Dedicates an preliminary $60 million in one-time Basic Fund {dollars} to capitalize a Belief Fund to Deal with PFAS Contamination, per the intent of LD 2013 and with the objective of securing extra Federal and different sources of funding within the long-term, in addition to roughly $9.3 million for PFAS mitigation and associated efforts in Maine throughout 2022 and 2023, together with for in-state lab capability, wildlife testing, and extra farmers help.

The price range additionally maintains the Price range Stabilization Fund, in any other case often called the Wet Day Fund, at $493 million, the best it’s ever been. Below Governor Mills, Maine’s Price range Stabilization Fund has greater than doubled.

Learn a whole one-pager on the supplemental price range (PDF).

The supplemental price range is balanced and takes a cautious, fiscally accountable strategy, dedicating greater than 75 % of the excess to one-time initiatives slightly than ongoing spending after the nonpartisan Income Forecasting Committee famous that the long-term income projections are “risky and prone to important draw back threat” within the years to return.

It constrains web appropriations to simply $172 million of the $1.2 billion surplus, dedicating greater than 75 % of the excess to one-time initiatives and financial savings as a hedge in opposition to financial uncertainty, slightly than ongoing spending. The proposal ends in a $8.67 billion Basic Fund price range. The at present enacted Basic Fund price range is $8.5 billion.

It builds off a earlier price range measure – additionally handed practically unanimously by the Legislature – that achieves 55 % of the price of schooling, totally restores income sharing with municipalities, replenishes the Land for Maine’s Future Program, and supplies a complete of $371 million in reduction to Maine individuals and enterprise, together with $285 Catastrophe Aid Funds to greater than half 1,000,000 Maine individuals.

It additionally enhances the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Restoration Plan, her Administration’s plan to make use of American Rescue Plan Act funding to enhance the lives of Maine individuals and households, assist companies, create good-paying jobs, and construct an economic system poised for future prosperity.

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