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Maine towns, cities answer gov's budget challenge

11:36 AM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine municipalities are responding to Gov. Paul LePage's invitation to come up with their own ideas to balance the state budget without suspending revenue sharing.

In a letter to the governor Tuesday, the bipartisan Mayors' Coalition representing a dozen Maine cities says the $6.3 billion budget proposed by LePage would result in significant property tax increases for Maine residents and businesses.

The mayors suggest as an option suspending income tax cuts that were enacted last session, which would avoid a $350 million drain on state revenues. The mayors say it's a revenue loss the state cannot afford now.

The coalition also suggests a temporary sales tax increase from 5 percent to 6 percent, combined with a lodging tax increase, and comprehensive tax reform to balance sales, income and property taxes.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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