On the ballot this November in Maine will be a proposal to assess a surcharge of 3% on the income tax returns of households that make over $200,000 a year. All the money raised (estimated at $157 million) would go to funding public education, therefore lowering local property taxes.
In 2004 Maine voters approved a ballot initiative that stated that the state would pay for 55% of public education. That figure has never been met. Currently Maine is paying for 47.5%. The purpose of the surcharge would be to allow the state to fund public education fully at the 55% level.
Stand Up For Students is the organization spearheading this campaign. Volunteers collected the needed 75,000 signatures in just three months. In contrast, a ballot measure backed by the Maine Republican Party and Governor Paul LePage to eliminate the income tax and cut public assistance programs, which was launched at the same time, fell far short of its signature goals.
This is similar to the NH Tax Shift Plan which would establish 3.75% income tax and provide over $400 million in property tax relief and $400 million in business tax reductions.