Live Blog Taxing Nonprofits in Maine

AUGUSTA – A tax reform plan by Gov. Paul LePage as part of his 2016-2017 two-year budget proposal is drawing plenty of attention.

Among other things the plan would allow cities and towns to apply a property tax to nonprofit organizations that hold more than $500,000 in property.  The tax would be applied at a rate of 5o percent the local property tax rate.

LePage’s plan also calls for the elimination of tax revenue sharing with cities and towns. Under state law cities and towns receive 5 percent of the total sales and income tax revenue collected in Maine – but as of late have only been given a portion of that or about $60 million a year.

For big cities with plenty of nonprofits the switch to taxing nonprofits would likely be a windfall but small towns with smaller nonprofits or none at all would likely lose out.  Hospitals, private colleges and even those who aid the hungry and homeless would be facing new expenses under the plan.  Some say the cost may drive them from existence, others say for certain it means the resource shift will result in fewer services for the community.

We will discus the issue  live today at 12 noon with a panel of experts and our online guests.


Joining us today as panelists will be:

– Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte, the Director of LePage’s Office of Policy Management

– Steven Michaud, President of the Maine Hospital Association

– State Sen. Nathan Libby, D-Lewiston. Libby serves on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee. He also serves as a Lewiston City Councilor and is one of the original co-authors of a bill that also looked to restructure Maine’s tax system in 2013.

– Lori Gramlich, the Director of Public Policy and Communications for the Maine Association of Nonprofits.

Our moderators will include:

-Scott Thistle, State Politics Editor for the Sun Journal

-Mario Moretto, State Politics Reporter for the Bangor Daily News

-Darren Fishell, a data analyst and business reporter for the Bangor Daily News

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