LePage budget proposal penalizes

To the Editor:

Governor Paul LePage’s tax proposal penalizes municipalities.

As a member of the Maine Green Independent Party and as a citizen elected to a municipal office, I am concerned with details of LePage’s proposed budget, which cuts the upper income tax rates. It increases sales taxes by broadening the base and increasing the rate. This consumption tax will affect low- and middle-class citizens that spend most of their income on goods and services.

The governor’s proposal level funds revenue sharing for the next fiscal year and eliminates it altogether thereafter. He commented that he could find 10 percent of waste in any organization. As a member of the Limerick budget committee, I can attest that every line item on the local budget is analyzed. Departmental budgets are voted on at the town meeting.

No dollar amount can be increased, but budgets can be reduced after discussion and voting. Eliminating revenue sharing from local budgets necessitates increasing property taxes imposed on our citizens.

To offset increases, the governor wants to allow municipalities to tax nonprofits with assets above $500,000. How many towns in Maine have such a well heeled nonprofit to tax? This tax increase will be borne by local citizens.

LePage stated that non-residents with vacation homes could bear the brunt of these increases. How many communities have enough vacation home owners that can be taxed to offset this loss of revenue?

This tax increase on Mainers will be especially egregious on citizens in rural and small towns where the tax base is made up of hard-working local residents.

The Maine Green Independent Party urges citizens to contact your local legislators to express concern with the effect this budget proposal will have on property taxes. This is one more attempt to reward the governor’s wealthy allies at the expense of “we the people.”

Gil Harris


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