Statement of Legislative Republicans on Tax Conformity

Governor Mills is proposing to take $100 million in taxes from Maine’s small businesses who received federal relief payments as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Maine Society of CPAs, and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce all testified today that they oppose any measure that does not bring Maine into full conformity with the federal tax code. This includes not taxing PPP benefits.

Senate Republican Leader Jeff Timberlake: “These small businesses are barely hanging on as it is.  Taking away the savings that they have set aside to get through this winter and spring would be devastating. This is money they intended to use to pay their heating bills, pay their employees, and survive—all of the things the program was designed for.”

House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham: “Commissioner Figueroa today said, ‘The Federal Government is using the tax code to provide additional fiscal stimulus to PPP loan recipients,’ yet the administration apparently did not believe this was something that Maine small businesses needed because it was not included in their conformity language.  Instead of following the federal tax code that was amended December 27th, she intends to count this stimulus money as income for our small businesses in order to draw additional revenue to the State.  At a time of unprecedented economic hardship for Maine businesses, they should be a priority for the administration who needs to make the tough budgetary decisions necessary to ensure they receive this benefit as Congress intended.”

Assistant Senate Republican Leader Matt Pouliot: “The pandemic is not over and neither is the struggle Maine’s small businesses are enduring. They are not yet back to full capacity, normal sales, or even average revenue. Since many Maine businesses are barely getting by, now is not the time to put them, their thousands of employees, and our economic recovery in jeopardy.”

Assistant House Republican Leader Joel Stetkis: “With the administration conceding today that the changes to the Federal PPP program were intended as an economic stimulus for businesses, why has that change not been incorporated into the Governor’s budget proposal?  Fifty-seven percent of Maine people are employed by small businesses and they should be a priority of this proposal rather than having the administration use this money to increase their own coffers.  Once again we see state Democrat politicians putting themselves in front of the working people of Maine.”

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