An Act To Create an Access to Justice Income Tax Credit
Sec. 1. 36 MRSA §191, sub-§2, ¶HHH is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 36 MRSA §5219-VV is enacted to read:
§ 5219-VV. Access to justice credit
(1) Agrees to practice law in a private practice setting in an underserved area for at least 5 years by joining an existing legal practice, establishing a new legal practice or purchasing an existing legal practice;
(2) Is rostered by the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services to accept court appointments to represent clients in an underserved area;
(3) Agrees to perform pro bono legal services in an underserved area; and
(4) Is certified by the court under subsection 3 to be eligible for the credit under this section.
This bill provides an income tax credit for 5 years for attorneys who practice law in the State and agree to practice for at least 5 years in an underserved area of the State as determined by the Supreme Judicial Court. Eligibility for the credit is open from 2020 through 2025. The court may certify up to 5 eligible attorneys each year. The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters is directed to review the effectiveness of the credit and may submit legislation to extend or revise it.