MEXICO – Tax reform will be the subject of an informational meeting sponsored by the River Valley and Oxford County Democrats at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mexico Town Hall.

Maine House Majority Leader John Piotti, D-Unity, will be the speaker. The discussion will focus on LD 1088, “An Act To Modernize the Tax Laws and Provide More Than $75,000,000 to Residents of the State in Tax Relief.”

It’s a plan to replace Maine’s four-tier income-tax structure, which has a top tax rate of 8.5 percent, with a flat tax of 6.5 percent.

The bill’s authors, including Rep. Piotti, predict that with the numerous tax credits built into the proposed system, most Mainers would pay substantially less than 6.5 percent. Reducing the maximum rate of 8.5 percent is estimated to reduce tax revenues by about $160 million.

To compensate for the loss in revenue, the bill proposes to increase the meals and lodging taxes from 7 percent to 8.5 percent and includes collecting sales taxes on some items now exempt, such as tickets to amusement parks and miniature golf courses, candy purchases and car repairs.

The bill’s proponents identify four main goals for the package:

• Spur economic development.

• Lower the tax burden for residents.

• Reduce volatility in Maine’s revenue collections.

• Levy fair taxes.

The session is open to the public and is hosted by state Rep. Matt Peterson, D-Rumford; Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico; and Citizens Trade Policy Commission member John Patrick, D-Rumford.

After the forum, there will be an opportunity for River Valley municipal Democratic committees to name representatives to the Oxford County Democratic Committee to fill vacant slots. Light refreshments will be served.

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