While arguing for eliminating Maine's income tax, LePage said during his radio address this week that states without an income tax, like Florida, have lured away Maine residents, including King.
The governor’s remarks were in the context of his defense of a controversial tax overhaul proposal. The plan reduces the state income tax by raising the sales tax and applying it to new items and services, a proposal that LePage argues will lure wealthy retirees and seasonal inhabitants to make Maine their primary domicile. The tax migration theory has been challenged by Democrats, but LePage attempted to hit back in his weekly radio address, arguing that the state’s income tax was adopted by former Democratic Gov. Ken Curtis, who now lives in Florida.
“Meanwhile, remember who introduced the income tax here in Maine,” LePage said. “Well, today former Governor Ken Curtis lives in Florida where there is zero income tax. Stephen King and Roxanne Quimby have moved away, as well.”
King spends winters in Florida but tells the Portland Press Herald that he and his wife paid about $1.4 million in Maine state taxes in 2013 and likely paid about the same for 2014.
King says his foundation awards $3 million to $5 million in grants annually, mostly in Maine.
A revision of LePage's address released Thursday no longer mentions the author. LePage's spokesman did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.