Republican leaders sign onto LePage income tax constitutional amendment; Democrats decline

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are backing Gov. Paul LePage's effort to amend the constitution to abolish the income tax.

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In a letter sent to the top lawmakers from both parties Monday, LePage urged legislative leaders from both parties to sign on as co-sponsors to his proposal. He says the Maine people agree that the "path to prosperity" is a future with no income tax.

The measure, which hasn't yet been printed, would prohibit the state, beginning in 2020, from collecting an income tax.

All five Republican leaders said they've signed onto the governor's bill. None of the Democratic leaders accepted LePage's invitation.

Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves said the governor's effort would make property taxes skyrocket, hurting middle- and low-income families and force future cuts to education.