New tax package is bad public policy

Posted July 01, 2009, at 6:43 p.m.

I am writing in response to Sen. Joe Perry’s June 27 column supporting the new “tax reform” legislation and of his opinion that this new law will be beneficial to “working Mainers.”

Sen. Perry’s recently proposed legislation (LD 501) would have imposed a new tax on home heating fuel. This issue alone makes me wonder if he truly represents the views of his constituents and working people in rural Maine. I’m positive that this tax is not welcome to most people living elsewhere in our state.

Sen. Perry’s record as an advocate of increased taxing simply mirrors that of many of his Democratic colleagues in the State House. For these folks it is easier to raise taxes than make the tough decisions necessary during these economic times. Unfortunately this latest scheme is an absolute attack on not only the working people of Maine but also on the poorest residents of our state.

The “tax reform” legislation allows the Democrats to claim that they support reforming our laws, while at the same time positioning themselves to continue spending at a level unaffordable or sustainable in future years. Does any reasonable person believe that since the Legislature used more than $600 million in stimulus money to meet current expenses that they won’t simply raise the income tax or further expand the sales tax to fund future budgets?

This new tax package, forced upon the people of Maine after little discussion and in the middle of the night, is simply bad public policy. Taxing auto repair, candy, meals and movie tickets can only be called what it is, an attack by one of the most liberal Legislatures in the country, an attack by the Democrats on Maine’s working people, an outright attack on our senior citizens. It’s an attack on middle income people who need a deduction on their home interest, charity giving, property taxes and health care.

Maine Republicans will work to repeal this tax sham. We will continue to fight for the working people of Maine, a group long ago abandoned by Maine’s special interest party, the Democrats.

The solutions to Maine’s budget problems are not all that difficult to solve.

Maine is a welfare state. People move here to gain access to our programs.

Funding Maine’s welfare system at the national average would solve our budget problems without placing an additional tax burden on Maine’s residents.

Our business climate is lousy and the Democrats’ answer is to tax and regulate. Is it any wonder Maine workers are among the lowest paid in New England?

Sen. Perry and his liberal friends, I believe, had ulterior motives when they enacted this new expanded tax. They understand that once passed they can easily continue to expand the sales tax at will, especially when there will be no organized group to oppose them. When they need another million or two for some new program, or to maintain current spending levels, they will simply further expand the sales tax.

I predict next year we will be discussing a proposed new tax on electrical work, plumbing repairs or some other needed service for average Mainers. One would have to be naive not to see this writing on the wall.

Now is the time to stop this nonsense.

Over the next 70 days, the Maine Republican Party will be working with Still Fed Up With Taxes to help collect signatures to repeal this Democrat-imposed tax on Maine’s working people. For those interested in supporting our efforts, please contact michelle@mainegop.com.

Cynthia Izon is the 2nd District field director for the Maine Republican Party.

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