The Struggle for Tax Reform in Maine, 2003-2009 The Struggle for Tax Reform in Maine, 2003-2009

By Richard Woodbury

Tax reform has been among the most prominent topics of public policy discussion in Maine in recent history. The current tax system has been described as antiquated, imbalanced, burdensome, unfair, uncompetitive, archaic, and volatile. Over the 2003-2009 period, many reform proposals were advanced; and some reforms were enacted, including a significant restructuring of the income tax system in 2009. This paper lays out the issues motivating tax reform efforts in Maine, provides a historical review of the tax reform struggle as it has unfolded, and offers a descriptive summary of the major initiatives advanced or enacted. Considerable attention is paid to the 2009 tax reform package, in the context of understanding tax reform issues more broadly.

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