April 22, 2018
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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018: A leader for team Maine, General Dynamics tax breaks, electric vehicle tax

A leader for team Maine

I have been a teacher and ski coach at Maranacook Community High School in Readfield for 39 years. Now, I am running for Maine governor.

I believe that a leader should build community the same way that a coach builds a team. As coach of the Maranacook nordic ski team, I transformed a team that had never won a nordic state title into a team that has won 27 state titles.

We have won not because we focus exclusively on winning, but because we have a team culture that values every athlete as an individual. Each person knows that he or she has skin in the game.

I believe our state government should function as a team. Maine has incredible potential: abundant natural resources, a talented and hard-working population, and a knack for blazing our own trails. We need leadership that prioritizes Maine’s future through protecting our environment, building inclusive communities and promoting innovation. We need leadership that unites team Maine.

As Maine’s next governor, I will seek to foster a sense of pride, responsibility, and above all, teamwork in every citizen. United as a team, within the state government and between the government and the people, we will realize our full potential and lead our state to a better future.

Steve DeAngelis
Readfield

Shortage of live bodies

The Republicans must be running out of live bodies to serve in the government, from the state to the federal level. President Donald Trump is a big head case, and so is our Gov. Paul LePage. They deserve each other, and why the president has not offered the governor a big job is beyond me. Time is running out and so are eligible people with ability to serve.

Bill Perreault
Brunswick

General Dynamics doesn’t need tax assistance

There is a small group of Maine legislature members and representatives who think it’s a good idea to give General Dynamics $60 million in tax breaks.

General Dynamics is a very wealthy company. You can do a brief internet search and discover much information on General Dynamics and their stock values.

Within the past two weeks, General Dynamics purchased another corporation for $9.6 billion. Their income is derived from the defense industries, and General Dynamics has numerous locations in the U.S. as well as in other countries. Financial aid is something they do not need. Increasing profits is what any corporation focuses on, and if they can get free money, they will not turn it down.

Some people are exploiting the fear of workers losing jobs at Bath Iron Works. Bath Iron Works and General Dynamics have a number of shipbuilding contracts with the government. Citizens’ tax money is what pays General Dynamics initially. So giving tax breaks to General Dynamics is simply foolish when one considers the money that is necessary for Maine to function.

General Dynamics has already received tax breaks from Maine. It appears they are trying to get free money from Connecticut as well.

How should Maine residents feel about giving their dollars to a very wealthy corporation that does not need any assistance?

Joseph Ciarrocca
Brunswick

General Dynamics doesn’t need tax breaks

I read in the BDN that General Dynamics, the parent company of Bath Iron Works, just spent $9.6 billion to buy another company, a huge IT conglomerate that provides IT services to the government.

Whew! I’m relieved! With that kind of money at its disposal, General Dynamics certainly won’t need a puny $60 million tax break from Maine’s taxpayers. I hope that now our legislators will be able to vote no on LD 1781, confident that they are doing the right thing for the people of Maine.

David P. Frasz
Dover Foxcroft

Don’t tax electric vehicles

Rep. Wayne Parry’s LD 1806 is an inequitable attempt to fix a broken road-financing system by slapping a tax on battery-electric vehicles and hybrids.

All citizens benefit from roads whether they own a vehicle or not, regardless of how many miles they drive. Their heating fuel is delivered on our roads. Their electricity is maintained by road-bound trucks. Their police, fire and other emergency responders use the roads. Their online shopping arrives in vans.

Taxing vehicles by fuel or fuel-efficiency is regressive. What about a propane car? Hydrogen? Nuclear? The tax must be a combination of actual mileage, weight and consumption.

Those doing tons of online shopping are using the roads but with heavier vehicles. Those using the roads commercially should be paying much more for using our roads for their profit.

The government needs to undertake the task of quantifying an exact formula in order to assign to each citizen their correct share of the burden. How Maine implements this could be a road map for the nation.

Maine tracks mileage at every registration renewal. The weight of the vehicles is known. The gross delivered weight of goods can be obtained from commercial carriers. We know how many citizens there are. The cost of highway construction and maintenance can be calculated. All of these data points can be used to produce truly equitable cost sharing.

Before arbitrarily slapping a tax on electric vehicles and hybrids, maybe we can figure out exactly how much everyone actually should be contributing.

Geoffrey Marshall
Little Deer Isle

Tax break shakedown

General Dynamics, owner of Bath Iron Works, is asking for another big tax break supposedly to help their bottom line. But it turns out that their bottom line is not only fine, but robust.

Of course, there’s a veiled threat here: “If you don’t give us this tax break, we might have to leave your state.” And now that they’ve seen cash-strapped Mainers balking at their request, they’ve performed a hat trick — something that looks like a compromise ($30 million now, $30 million later). But it is really just the same kind of shakedown using different words. If we fall for it, we’ll end up paying their tax bills for the same amount of money every year anyway.

I’d like my legislators to use my money for the things I care about — health care, education, small business, the environment. At the very least, I don’t want them giving it to a fantastically wealthy corporation. And I won’t vote for any of them who do.

Tammy Lacher Scully
Belfast

 


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