An Act To Improve Tax Expenditure Transparency and Accountability
Sec. 1. 3 MRSA §992, sub-§4-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 3 MRSA §992, sub-§5, as amended by PL 2003, c. 673, Pt. GGGG, §3, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 3 MRSA §992, sub-§§6-A and 6-B are enacted to read:
Sec. 4. 3 MRSA §§998 to 1001 are enacted to read:
§ 998. Process for review of tax expenditures
§ 999. Full evaluation of tax expenditures
(1) The purposes, intent or goals of the tax expenditure, as informed by original legislative intent as well as subsequent legislative and policy developments and changes in the state economy and fiscal condition;
(2) The intended beneficiaries of the tax expenditure;
(3) The evaluation objectives, which may include an assessment of:
(a) The fiscal impact of the tax expenditure, including past and estimated future impacts;
(b) The extent to which the design of the tax expenditure is effective in accomplishing the tax expenditure's purposes, intent or goals and consistent with best practices;
(c) The extent to which the tax expenditure is achieving its purposes, intent or goals, taking into consideration the economic context, market conditions and indirect benefits;
(d) The extent to which those actually benefiting from the tax expenditure are the intended beneficiaries;
(e) The extent to which it is likely that the desired behavior might have occurred without the tax expenditure, taking into consideration similar tax expenditures offered by other states;
(f) The extent to which the State's administration of the tax expenditure, including enforcement efforts, is efficient and effective;
(g) The extent to which there are other state or federal tax expenditures, direct expenditures or other programs that have similar purposes, intent or goals as the tax expenditure, and the extent to which such similar initiatives are coordinated, complementary or duplicative;
(h) The extent to which the tax expenditure is a cost-effective use of resources compared to other options for using the same resources or addressing the same purposes, intent or goals; and
(i) Any opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the tax expenditure in meeting its purposes, intent or goals; and
(4) The performance measures appropriate for analyzing the evaluation objectives. Performance measures must be clear and relevant to the specific tax expenditure and the approved evaluation objectives.
§ 1000. Expedited review of tax expenditures
(1) The reasons the tax policy was adopted;
(2) The extent to which the reasons for the adoption still remain or whether the tax policy should be reconsidered;
(3) The extent to which the tax policy is consistent or inconsistent with other state goals; and
(4) The fiscal impact of the tax policy, including past and estimated future impacts.
(1) The fiscal impact of the tax expenditure, including past and estimated future impacts;
(2) The administrative costs and burdens associated with the tax expenditure;
(3) The extent to which the tax expenditure is consistent with the broad tax policy and with the other tax expenditures established in connection with the policy;
(4) The extent to which the design of the tax expenditure is effective in accomplishing its tax policy purpose;
(5) The extent to which there are adequate mechanisms, including enforcement efforts, to ensure that only intended beneficiaries are receiving benefits and that beneficiaries are compliant with any requirements;
(6) The extent to which the reasons for establishing the tax expenditure remain or whether the need for it should be reconsidered; and
(7) Any other reasons to discontinue or amend the tax expenditure.
(1) A description of the tax expenditure and the mechanism through which the tax benefit is distributed;
(2) The intended beneficiaries of the tax expenditure; and
(3) A legislative history of the tax expenditure; and
§ 1001. Tax expenditure evaluation process details
(1) Contact information for specific beneficiaries of tax expenditures for the purpose of conducting interviews, surveys or other data collection; and
(2) Statistics classified so as to prevent the identification of specific taxpayers or the reports, returns or items of specific taxpayers.
The contractor shall retain physical control of any information obtained pursuant to this paragraph until the conclusion of the review for which the information was provided, after which the information must be immediately destroyed.
(1) "Beneficiary contact information" means the following information listed on a tax return or included in a tax return: the name, address, zip code, e-mail address and telephone number of the taxpayer, and of any related entity, officers, attorneys, personal representatives and other agents, tax preparers and shareholders of, partners of or members of the taxpayer or of a listed related entity.
(2) "De-identified tax data" means tax returns and other confidential tax information that are redacted or otherwise modified or restricted by Maine Revenue Services so as to exclude the following:
(a) Beneficiary contact information;
(b) Identification numbers including federal or state employer identification numbers, social security numbers and registration numbers; and
(c) Other information from which the State Tax Assessor determines that the identity of the taxpayer could reasonably be inferred.
Sec. 5. 5 MRSA §1666, 3rd ¶, as amended by PL 2007, c. 1, Pt. P, §2, is further amended to read:
A budget document transmitted by the Governor or Governor-elect must include a part that asks the Legislature whether it wishes to continue funding each individual tax expenditure provided in the statutes. For purposes of this paragraph, "tax expenditures" means those state tax revenue losses attributable to provisions of Maine tax laws that allow a special exclusion, exemption or deduction or provide a special credit, a preferential rate of tax or a deferral of tax liability. The part must include for each tax expenditure a statutory section reference, a brief description of each tax expenditure and the loss of revenue estimated to be incurred by funding source and fiscal year. The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs shall consider any reports regarding the evaluation of tax expenditures completed during the previous 2 years pursuant to Title 3, sections 999 and 1000 and shall hold at least one public hearing to receive public comment regarding those tax expenditures when reviewing the continuation of tax expenditures pursuant to this section. This paragraph applies with respect to the preparation of the budget document for the 2008-2009 biennium and thereafter.
Sec. 6. 36 MRSA §191, sub-§2, ¶¶XX and YY, as enacted by PL 2013, c. 331, Pt. B, §5, are amended to read:
Sec. 7. 36 MRSA §191, sub-§2, ¶ZZ is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. Lapsed balances; Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability; General Fund account. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the State Controller shall lapse $62,000 from the Personnel Services line category and $106,884 from the All Other line category in the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, General Fund account to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund no later than June 30, 2016.
Sec. 9. Lapsed balances; Legislature, General Fund account. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, $237,280 of unencumbered balance forward from the various program accounts and line categories in the Legislature, General Fund accounts as specified by the Executive Director of the Legislative Council lapses to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund. By September 1, 2016, the Executive Director of the Legislative Council shall review the Legislature, General Fund accounts and notify the State Controller of the unencumbered balance forward amounts by account and line category totaling $237,280 that the State Controller shall lapse to the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund no later than June 30, 2017.
Sec. 10. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.
PROGRAM EVALUATION AND GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY, OFFICE OF
Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability 0976
Initiative: Establishes one Senior Analyst position and one Analyst position effective October 5, 2015 and provides funding for consultant services.
POSITIONS - LEGISLATIVE COUNT
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$168,884||$237,280|