AUGUSTA – The Maine House of Representatives yesterday voted down a bill from Rep. Chad Grignon (R – Athens) that would have ended the state’s practice of levying an income tax on overtime pay. The vote was mostly along party lines, with Democrats voting against the bill and Republicans supporting it.
Rep. Grignon, in his floor speech, said he wanted to make sure Maine’s
workers could actually enjoy the benefits of the overtime they work away from
their family and friends.
Specifically, Grignon said because Maine’s window for completing construction
projects is only seven months and we are competing against New Hampshire, which
has no income tax.
“I’ve heard a lot of people talk a lot about fairness. You know, fairness
would be to not tax people when they’re away from their families putting a lot
of hours in trying to get these projects completed.
Rep. Beth O’Connor, speaking in support of the bill, said, “Any time I
see a bill that could lower people’s taxes in one way or another, I think that
is a great thing.”
She added, “They know better how to spend that money than myself or
anyone in this body.”
Rep. Ryan Tipping, a Democrat who opposed the bill, argued that the
change would be hard to implement and that it didn’t apply to some workers,
citing those who work out of state or who work for Maine state government.
The bill was voted down 90-55 in the Maine House. It will now go to the Maine Senate for consideration.
Along with Rep. Grignon as the primary sponsor, L.D. 963 has nine cosponsors:
Rep. Sue Austin (R – Gray) Rep. Richard Cebra (R – Naples) House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham (R – Oxford) Senator Brad Farrin (R – Somerset) Rep. Jeff Hanley (R – Pittston) Rep. Matt Harrington (R – Sanford) Rep. Tom Martin (R – Greene) Rep. Lester Ordway (R – Standish) Rep. Joel Stetkis (R – Canaan)