Maine loses $10 million per year because of special tax protections for wealthy corporations

AUGUSTA – In a party line vote, the Senate gave initial approval to a measure to prevent multinational corporations from evading Maine taxes through offshore tax havens.

“We should stop allowing wealthy international corporations to use these tax-dodging loopholes,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Anne Haskell of Portland, the Senate Chair of the Taxation Committee. “Closing these corporate tax loopholes is a matter of fairness and creates a level playing field for small businesses in Maine who play by the rules and don’t use these tricks.”

The measure requires corporations to report income from a list of 38 known offshore tax havens, including Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Luxembourg. The bill is expected to return $10 million per year to the State of Maine.

“Maine already prevents tax evasion in other states and this will take it one step further in ensuring we’re not enabling more corporate welfare,” said Senator John Patrick of Rumford. “This legalized corporate welfare is money we could recoup and return to our state coffers to pay for the things that matter like funding our public schools or Head Start.”

States lose an estimated $20 billion annually because of corporate use of offshore tax havens. Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and West Virginia already have adopted practices like those in the bill, and other states are considering similar proposals.

Maine already has domestic tax evasion checks in place to prevent corporations from hiding money in states like Delaware and Nevada.

The bill, LD 1120, “An Act To Improve Maine’s Tax Laws,” is sponsored by Rep. Adam Goode. It faces further votes in the Senate and the House.