L. Gary Knight
District 81 State Rep.
News articles about Gary Knight:

Rep. Knight Named to National Panel on State Taxation

Septmeber 6, 2011
Jay Finegan, 287-1445

AUGUSTA – State Rep. Gary Knight has been appointed to a key tax panel run by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization formed in 1975 to provide state lawmakers with research, education and other services.

The Task Force on State and Local Taxes, created in 1999, is designed to assist state efforts in simplifying and streamlining tax system.

Rep. Knight (R-Livermore Falls), a retired community banker, was tapped for the task force based on his experience in state government and his broad background in the financial markets, with special expertise in taxation. He is serving his third term in the Maine House, where he serves as the House chair of the Taxation Committee.

"I'm honored by this appointment," he said. "Tax policy is a complicated area, and the Committee is interested in further changes in Maine's tax code to strengthen our economy. By serving on this task force, I will be able to meet with legislators from around the country and explore those taxation features that establish positive business climates and encourage entrepreneurs to start companies. We need more business activity and a stronger employment base to set Maine's economy on a path to prosperity."

Rep. Knight is credited with helping the Taxation Committee develop a major tax reduction plan, later adopted into the state's 2012-2013 budget, which provides the largest tax cut in Maine history. The $150-million reduction lowers tax rates and exempts some 70,000 low- and moderate-income filers from income tax liability. It also eliminates the 7 percent sales tax on meals at retirement facilities, wipes out the state's Alternative Minimum Tax and fully restores the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement program.

The new system also raises the estate tax exclusion from $1 million to $2 million to help preserve family farms and small businesses. "Increasing the exclusion may well make the difference between allowing owners to pass on an ongoing family business or forcing heirs to sell a farm or business to pay off the taxes," Rep. Knight said.

Rep. Knight holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Colby College and an MBA from the University of Southern Maine. He also is a graduate of the School of Banking at Williams College, and he completed an executive banking program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He represents the communities of Leeds, Livermore, Livermore Falls and Wayne.

Rep. Knight rated 'very strong' on pro-business voting

September 20, 2010
Jay Finegan, 287-1445

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Gary Knight registered one of the best voting records in the Legislature when it comes to supporting jobs, business vitality and Maine's economy. Over the two years of the 124th Legislature, he received a "very strong" rating of 76.82 from the Maine Economic Research Institute (MERI). "I'm proud of my record in support of jobs and a better Maine economy," said Rep. Knight (R-Livermore Falls), a second-term legislator who serves on the Taxation Committee. "Our economic problems are well known - high unemployment, relatively low incomes and a tax and regulatory burden that impedes business startups and expansion of existing companies. I use my vote whenever I can to improve our situation to benefit the people of our state and to block bills that would worsen the damage." MERI is a nonpartisan, independent organization formed to conduct research, analysis and reporting on economic issues. MERI's rating methodology, used in 23 other states, is rooted in the basic business concepts of accountability and performance review. Government affairs professionals representing Maine's most respected business and industry trade groups meet regularly during legislative sessions to identify bills that will impact the business community. The new ratings, released in mid-September, are based mostly on votes on 19 individual bills that were decided on roll call votes. A so-called "qualitative factor," based on questionnaires completed by business representatives, rates legislators on such things as committee work and action on bills that had no roll calls. The two ratings are merged to arrive at final MERI scores. Any rating over 75 indicates "very strong" support of business. Among the bills considered in the scoring was LD 1495, a tax restructuring plan that expanded the sales tax to 103 services, raised the meals and lodging tax to 8.5 percent and eliminated the mortgage interest deduction. The Democrats passed the bill without a single Republican vote in the House, and the governor signed it into law. Last June, the voters of Maine repealed the law by 62 percent to 38 percent in a People's Veto referendum. Rep. Knight also received a strong pro-business voting score of 86 from the National Federation of Independent Business.

Rep. Gary Knight Reminds Voters That They May Request Absentee Ballots

September 9, 2010
Jim Fossel, 287-1470

AUGUSTA, ME - Rep. Gary Knight (R-Livermore Falls) offered a reminder that registered voters may now request an absentee ballot for the November 2, 2010 general election. Requesting an absentee ballot is even easier now for many Mainers thanks to a service offered by the Secretary of State.

The Maine Secretary of State operates a website allowing registered Maine voters in participating municipalities to request their absentee ballot online. Even if your municipality does not participate, you may use the site to print an absentee ballot request form. You can then fill out the form and take it to your town office. This service is available at http://maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl.

If you are not registered to vote or are unsure if you are registered, you should contact your local elections official. A list of local elections officials may be found online at http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/votreg.htm. If you have any questions about absentee voting or how to register, you may contact the Office of the Secretary of State by phone at (207) 624-7650.

Rep. Gary Knight Reminds Constituents Of Property Tax Relief Program

August 3, 2010
Jim Fossel, 287-1470

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Gary Knight (R-Livermore Falls) wants to alert area residents that the application period for Maine's Property Tax and Rent Refund Program opened August 1 for taxes and rent paid during 2009. Under this program, commonly known as the "circuit breaker," Mainers who qualify are eligible for refunds of up to $1,600. It is the state government's primary program to provide property tax relief.

Under the guidelines, you may qualify for a refund if you do not have a spouse or dependents and your 2009 income was $64,950 or less. If you have a spouse or dependents, you could have made up to $86,600 in 2009 and still qualify. Also, to receive a refund, your 2009 property tax must have exceeded four percent of your income. It is important to remember that this is tax relief to which you are entitled, not welfare.

Renters qualify if the rent they paid in 2009 exceeded twenty percent of their income. Seniors do not need to meet this property tax or rent requirement if their household income was below $14,700 for those living alone or below $18,200 for those living with a spouse or dependent.

The application is available online through the Maine Revenue Services (MRS) website at http://www.maine.gov/revenue/taxrelief/homepage.html. In addition to a copy of the paper application, which you may print out and mail to MRS, you will find a link to the online application site. Online applications are easier for you, as they automatically perform all necessary calculations; and they cost less to process.

Rep. Gary Knight Reminds Constituents of Deadline For Any-Deer Permit Program

July 13, 2010
Jim Fossel, 287-1470

AUGUSTA, ME - State Rep. Gary Knight (R-Livermore Falls) would like to remind licensed hunters that the deadline to submit online applications for a 2010 Any-Deer Permit is approaching. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) will accept applications through its website until 11:59 P.M. on August 16, 2010. A chance drawing will be held on September 10, 2010.

Individuals must possess a valid Maine license to hunt big game at the time of applying for an Any-Deer Permit. Valid lifetime and complimentary hunting licenses are also acceptable. Licenses may be purchased online or from a licensed agent. Only those possessing an Any-Deer Permit may hunt doe deer or bucks with antlers less than three inches during the regular firearms and muzzle-loading seasons. A permit holder may take a buck with antlers three inches or longer anywhere in the state or any doe or buck within the wildlife management district for which the permit is valid.

Applicants chosen through the random permit drawing will be issued a number. IFW will no longer be mailing out Any-Deer Permits/transportation tags. Instead, Any-Deer Permit winners will need to record their permit number (which can be found online after the drawing) and report this permit number when tagging their deer. IFW suggests that Any-Deer Permit winners write down their permit number and keep the number with their license so it is readily available when needed at the tagging station.

IFW decides how many permits to issue based on management goals for each district. Few or no permits are granted in areas where deer populations are low. In areas where deer are more abundant, a larger number of permits are allocated. IFW also takes into account hunter success rates from previous seasons.

There is no application fee to apply for the permit. Online applications and additional information about the program are available online at http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lotteries/anydeer/index.htm.

Rep. Gary Knight Offers Reminder That Free Tax Preparation Assistance Is Available

March 26, 2010
Jim Fossel, 287-1470

With tax filing deadlines just around the corner, Rep. Gary Knight (R-Livermore Falls) wanted to remind his constituents that there is free assistance available to help you prepare your Maine and federal income tax filings.

The American Association of Retired Persons and a coalition of groups called CA$H Maine have united to establish tax assistance sites throughout the state. Every year many Mainers do not realize they qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Approximately 25% of eligible residents do not apply for the EITC, leaving unclaimed a tax credit that could total up to $5,657 for each eligible household. Tax preparation services can help you file for the EITC and other tax credits that may be available.

In order to participate, you must have your tax statements from all income received in 2009 as well as Social Security cards for each person you will claim on your return. You should then dial 211 (which is toll-free) to find the tax site nearest you and call that site for an appointment.

You may find the site nearest you by visiting the CA$H Maine website at http://www.cashmaine.org. There you can also find summaries of Maine tax benefits, lists of local resources in your area, and information about other programs the CA$H Maine coalition offers.
Older Articles:
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Rep. Gary Knight Reminds Constituents Of Baby Bonus Program

February 3, 2010
Jim Fossel, 287-1470

Rep. Knight's constituents want option to purchase health insurance out of state

Date unknown, 2009
Jay Finegan, 287-1445

This article can be found here.

Rep. Gary Knight Named to National Committee on Budgets and Revenue

July 16, 2009
Jay Finegan, 287-1445

This article can be found here.

GOP legislators move to protect laid-off workers from taxes

March 25, 2009
Jay Finegan, 287-1445

This article can be found here.

Rep. Knight Submits Bill Exempting Severance Pay from State Taxes

February 2, 2009
Jay Finegan, 287-1445

This article can be found here.