AUGUSTA, Maine — Editor's note: This video originally aired on Feb. 15.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is proposing bigger taxpayer refunds — $750 instead of $500 — to an estimated 800,000 residents thanks to a rosier-than-expected revenue forecast.
Maine’s revenue forecasting panel on Tuesday projected an additional $411.6 million in revenue through June 2023, pushing the previously projected $822 million surplus over the $1 billion mark.
While that's good news, the governor’s administration warned that there are unsettled times ahead.
“These new revenue projections come during uncertain economic times nationally,” said Kirsten Figueroa, commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.
She noted that oil has increased to over $100 per barrel, inflation has reached its highest point in four decades and Russia has invaded Ukraine, potentially further disrupting markets.
The forecasting panel’s projections are less rosy after the current fiscal year. It’s projecting a revenue increase in fiscal years 2024 and 2025, but it represents a $50 million drop from the current budget cycle.