Earlier this week, Maine Governor Janet Mills announced a plan to tax all federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans received by Maine’s small businesses as income on state taxes. Mills’ proposal would have been a sucker punch to the more than 28,000 Maine businesses who received a PPP loan to help stay afloat during her state-imposed restrictions and lockdown measures.
The plan was estimated to leverage an additional $100 million in new taxes on businesses, all so Mills could cover her estimated $1 billion budget deficit — a shortfall which Moody’s suggests could leave Maine “worse off than most states.” Following swift and forceful rebuke from small business owners and business associations across the state, Mills abruptly flip-flopped on her plan which would have hurt small businesses in a time of crisis, risking thousands of jobs in the process.
“Janet Mills showed Mainers exactly why she is the epitome of failed leadership this week,” said RGA Communications Director Jesse Hunt. “The federal Paycheck Protection Program has helped over 28,000 small businesses and saved tens of thousands of jobs in Maine, and voters just expressed their approval of the program when they re-elected its author Susan Collins in November. Mills’ plan to kick struggling small businesses while they’re down showed just how out of touch and disconnected she is from the reality facing Maine families.”