The politicians in Maine are all geared up to improve the public education sector within the state. This time, the government has planned to improve schools in Maine by raising income tax on the high earners.
The initiative plans to charge a 3% additional tax on any annual income above $200,000.
What’s the Reason for This Initiative?
Though Maine spends a large portion on funding public schools, still some education advocates believe that it is not enough to meet the required funds.
Maine requires 55% of funds to meet the needs of the public education sector. Therefore, surcharge tax on high earners is under consideration.
How will the Raise in Tax Improve the Public Schools?
The Essential Programs and Services Funding Formula define the school budget essentials including 55% financial aid by the state for public schools.
According to the referendum that speaks for the Student Initiative, public schools must be provided a minimum of 55% of the state funds to reach the standard educational levels. Also, it is the responsibility of the state to provide quality education to all its citizens.
It is practically impossible for the state to achieve the agreed upon target. Therefore, this tax-raising initiative has been planned at the state level. Increasing the tax will help to provide a good source of educational funds.
But will it be stable?
The income tax collections in Maine have been recorded to be very high since 2005. The tax collections rose to 17% in 2006, and it increased to 20% in 2007.
But the financial crisis faced in late 2008 caused a drop in income tax by 32%. In the year 2009, the drop in income tax was recorded to be 20%.
This is not the final income tax ratio. The rate keeps on fluctuating rising as high as 36% like in 2012 and dropping by 12% in 2013.
But on the part of the schools and their prospective students, the initiative will help to remove all problems faced due to a shortage of funds.
It is very helpful in meeting the educational needs during the prosperous years. However, it will cause the state and local governments to rely on slack years. Therefore, some people are against this initiative.
What are the benefits of this initiative then?
Benefits of Raising Income Tax
A large portion of Maine’s economy is dependent on public schools. As long as the public schools are flourishing, the economy of the state is at a safe edge. More money from the state will help to ensure higher success rate regarding both, schools and economy.
The failure of the state in providing the minimum level of funding will result in the suffering of children and communities from their basic right of education. If the wealthy pay their fair share to the public schools, the state can fulfill its commitment to provide 55% funds.
The public schools are serving children from KG to grade 12. Fully funding them will improve the schools by enabling them to acquire the standard resources to teach their students.