AUGUSTA — Maine Senate Republicans want to return to taxpayers a portion of the surplus that accumulated during the pandemic, thanks in part to historic federal assistance.

The “Give It Back” plan is seen as a major piece of the GOP’s messaging push ahead of the 2022 legislative session, and as former Republican Gov. Paul LePage seeks to unseat current Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The plan calls for splitting unused monthly revenue — sending half to the state’s rainy day fund and half to taxpaying residents. The proposal is in line with LePage’s campaign promise of eliminating the state’s income tax if he wins in 2022.

Mills has overseen a healthy state budget during her time as governor despite higher spending. A spokesperson for her administration called the GOP proposal a tacit acknowledgement of the state’s good fiscal situation under Mills’ leadership, according to the newspaper.

Maine Republican legislators have fought with Mills over the $1 billon in federal aid that was used to bail state government out during the pandemic. Party leaders have called the aid excessive.


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