AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci is urging Mainers to vote against repealing the new taxes on beer, wine and soda, saying the revenues are needed if Maine is to ever provide universal health coverage.
Those new taxes, as well as taxes on paid insurance claims, were enacted last spring as a way to fund the state-subsidized Dirigo health insurance program. Maine voters will decide whether to repeal the taxes under a people’s veto question on Tuesday’s ballot.
In his weekend radio address, Baldacci acknowledges that people are fed up with taxes. But he says there are hardworking Mainers who also are fed up with not having quality health care coverage.
The Democratic governor says the law containing the beverage tax will decrease the existing tax on health claims.
Republicans have been highly critical of the expanded taxes and contend they would prop up a failed state program.