AUGUSTA — The Legislature’s Taxation Committee advanced Gov. Janet Mills’ compromise tax conformity proposal that provides relief to a majority of Maine small businesses in a vote of 7-1-5 today. The new proposal exempts $1 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds from state income taxes laws, providing full relief to Maine small businesses that need it the most.
The partial tax conformity proposal brought forward by Gov. Janet Mills would exempt 98.9 percent of Maine businesses and nonprofits that received PPP funds from paying income taxes on these loans-turned-grants. The plan is supported by David Clough, the Maine State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash, Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic, and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Mattie Daughtry of Brunswick released statements in support of the responsible compromise proposal.
“When Maine people vote to send us to serve in Augusta, they expect lawmakers to approach the tough, often complicated, issues head-on, working together to come up with common-sense solutions. Our job isn’t to rubber-stamp everything that Washington, D.C., sends our way. It’s about passing policies and reforms that work for Maine. This proposal is about supporting 99 percent of Maine small businesses across the state, not bailing out major corporate law firms on the backs of Maine people. It’s about looking out for Maine small businesses that have stepped up over and over again throughout this pandemic and in the face of so much uncertainty.”
Sen. Eloise Vitelli:
“Our number one goal is to make sure that Maine’s small businesses, who were able to keep their doors open and their workers on payroll thanks to these loans, have the support and information they need. I hear from Maine businesses daily, whether it’s struggling farms in the rural parts of my district or restaurants along the coast. They deserve relief. This compromise tax conformity proposal will help the 27,951 organizations and small businesses across this state that are barely scraping by. That’s why it has earned the support of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. There has been no shortage of suffering throughout this pandemic. This proposal will help the small businesses that have become fixtures of our communities and economy hang on as we work to get through this crisis.”
“Over the past ten months, Maine small businesses have been through enough. Many are struggling to stay afloat amid a crippling public health crisis. Whether it’s quickly adapting their business models to follow new health and safety protocols as we learn more about how the virus spreads, or facing historic sales slumps, or having to jump through hoops to navigate complicated grant applications just to get some economic relief, our small businesses are facing a tsunami of challenges. Many are at their wits’ end. As a small business owner myself, I’m on the same page. These challenges are my reality – I deal with them every single day. It’s why it’s so important for the Legislature Taxation’s Committee to get tax conformity right.
“Today, the Legislature’s Tax Committee endorsed a proposal that would provide targeted relief to Maine’s small businesses that are struggling, by exempting their PPP loan from state income tax laws. It also rejects a D.C. proposal rife with corporate loopholes and other measures such as the ‘three-martini lunches’ that most Mainers can’t benefit from. It’s the type of common-sense compromise that people expect from Maine lawmakers.”