To the Editor:
Thank you for the opportunity to read Governor LePage’s thoughts about his budget proposal in his own words in last week’s viewpoint column. I am very concerned about the increased uncertainties introduced by his tax scheme.
As a retiree on a fixed income, my state income tax obligation is relatively small, and as it is predictable, easy to budget for. If, as the governor proposes, the state income tax is eliminated, the necessary revenues will be raised from a myriad of other, less predictable, less manageable, less equitable tax increases.
When questioned about the impact of his proposal on state and municipal programs and services, the governor has two responses, one of which is laudable, although limited, and the other frivolously brutal.
I agree that reduced income demands increased planning and accountability. But while pennies found between the couch cushions (a favorite example of the governor) may provide an extra box of spaghetti that can be stretched only so far, they will not pay for propane, plowing or a police force.
Over and again, when queried on specifics of his plan, the governor insists that with all the earnings saved from taxation, people can pay individually for the myriad of services government will no longer provide.
In Ellsworth, the governor recommended that employees at now-to-be-taxed nonprofits use their income tax savings to keep their employers afloat. While ideologically doctrinaire, this scheme places an unrealizable responsibility on all Mainers and a disproportionately unfair burden on those least privileged to bear it.
Think about it. At best, we might pool our time, energy, talents and funds to reinvent an approximation of good government. At the predictable minimum, the majority of us would be much worse off under Lepage’s tax plan.