Tax plan not just for rich

By Gov. Paul LePage

Forty-six years ago, Democratic Governor Ken Curtis championed a controversial state income tax. So it began; Mainer’s paychecks were raided to pay for bigger government.

In 1969, the income tax barely survived the Legislature, and today, $1.2 billion dollars is taken from hardworking Mainers through income tax.

Nearly 50 years later, we are trying to return money back to Mainers, but it’s not without a major battle.

Recently, Democratic Representative Adam Goode of Bangor opposed our plan, saying it benefits only the rich.

However, his definition of rich is interesting. Most Maine businesses are pass-through entities, meaning many of those earning $400,000 are actually small businesses owners. These are the businesses that create jobs and invest these tax cuts, creating career opportunities.

Also, what Goode fails to mention is that 653,000 working Mainers pay over $1 billion – $1.2 billion to be exact – in income taxes.

Our plan returns that money back to working Mainers. Starting next year, Mainers will receive $238 million annually back in taxes, and that number will increase to $300 million in four years.

Our plan helps those earning lower incomes, too. We’ve set aside $60 million for the neediest Mainers through the Sales Tax Fairness Credit and the Property Tax Fairness Credit. These tax credits are available only to those of more limited means.

The Property Tax Fairness Credit will help Mainers with their property taxes. We’ve doubled the amount of money available to Mainers under 65 and with limited incomes.

We also have tripled the amount of money available through the Homestead Exemption. This tax credit helps Mainers over 65 to lower their property taxes.

Another way we help folks with lower incomes is by providing a tax credit toward the sales tax. Those with limited incomes will be eligible for this tax credit.

If you really look at how this plan works, you will see that it modernizes our tax code so the majority of Mainers keep what they earn.

Don’t be fooled by rhetoric. I encourage you to attend one of our upcoming town hall meetings to learn the facts.

You also can call your legislator to tell them you support eliminating the income tax. Legislators are working on the budget now, and they must hear from you.

Gov. Paul LePage is in his second term as Maine’s chief executive.

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