Sen. Libby appointed to chair bipartisan working group for reviewing state tax expenditures

Posted: August 23, 2021 | Senator Libby

AUGUSTA — Sen. Nate Libby, D-Lewiston, has been appointed to chair the Working Group to Review the Process for Ongoing Review of Tax Expenditures by the Legislature by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash.

“Maine leads the nation in developing and maintaining a comprehensive, non-partisan review of all of its tax breaks,” said Sen. Libby. “The goal of this working group is to ensure the Legislature’s limited time and staff resources are best utilized to ensure each tax break is receiving a thorough analysis and that the cost-benefit of revenue is made up for in substantive job creation, economic development and community benefit.”

The tax expenditures working group covers the review of a broad set of policies and programs that have a tax impact, including exemptions, credits and incentives. Examples of these are the shipbuilders tax credit, Pine Tree Development Zones, and Maine’s seed capital tax credit, among others.

The working group will make recommendations to improve the tax expenditure review process and the turnaround time for reviews to be completed. This working group is particularly significant because individual tax expenditures are not often subjected to the same level of scrutiny as other budget items. As a result, there is limited data and research on the impact of individual tax expenditures available for lawmakers to make more informed budget decisions. Sen. Libby currently serves as chair of the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee and serves on the Taxation Committee.

The working group consists of Democratic and Republican members of both the House and Senate, and will release its final report by Dec. 1, 2021.