By Carol McCracken (Post # 726)
Breaking with another long held tradition in Maine, Governor LePage is proposing to do away with the revenue-sharing formula that has existed between Maine and its municipilities for almost 50 years. Currently, the state distributes 5% of its revenue to municipilities to provide tax relief to its residents. The Governor prefers a “year-to-year” appropriation.
Yesterday afternoon Mayor Nicholas Mavodones testified against this change which would be replaced with a year-to-year appropriation. “The current formula used for revenue sharing serves both the state and local governments well,” stated Mayor Mavodones. “It allows the city and state the chance to share in the fruits of our collective labors in building a thriving economy. The dramatic change being proposed to this program is a solution in search of a problem and would have negative implications at all levels from the local property owner to the municipality to the state,” said the Mayor according to a press release issued yesterday.
The City of Portland has received a portion of the state’s income and sales tax revenues and applied these funds to reduce the city’s property tax rate. In recent years, the city and other municipalties have experienced cuts to these shared revenues: FY09 $600,000. FY10 $1.4 million, FY11 $300,000. according to the same press release.