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Governor’s Address: Democrats stifle the voice of the Maine people

I have a simple question for the Maine people: Would you like to eliminate the income tax and put $1.2 billion back into your paychecks?

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

Unfortunately, you won’t get the chance to answer that question. Democrats in Augusta have denied you, the Maine people, the opportunity to be heard on this important issue.

The Taxation Committee voted along party lines to deny Mainers a voice in this process.

Republicans voted in favor of the Maine people. Democrats voted against you, the Maine people.

State government now takes $1.2 billion out of the paychecks of hard-working Mainers. Eliminating the income tax would put $1.2 billion back in their pockets. In fact, it’s the largest wage increase Mainers could get.

I have been holding town hall meetings all over Maine, and citizens up and down the state are in favor of eliminating the income tax.

That’s why I asked Legislative leadership for bipartisan support for my bill to amend the Constitution to eliminate the State income tax. Only Republican leaders stepped up to endorse it. Democrat leaders wanted to kill it from the start.

The process to approve a Constitutional amendment includes sending it to Maine voters in a statewide referendum. This gives the Maine people a voice in deciding if they want to get rid of the income tax.

Democrats on the Taxation Committee voted to stifle that voice. They reject any effort to give Mainers back the money they have rightfully earned.

Liberal Democrats just want to keep growing government, no matter how much they have to raise your taxes to pay for it. The rhetoric they use against improving our economy is nothing more than ideological fabrication.

Politicians take money out of your paycheck every week, and you have no say in how they spend it. There is no amount of your money they won’t take for their tax-and-spend follies.

For example, legislators are keeping 200 empty positions on the books so they can spend your money in the dark of night. It goes into what they call a “cascade.” But it’s really just pet projects for politicians.

I believe the Maine people know much better than government how to spend their own money. We are a society of consumers. The people will spend that $1.2 billion and put it right back into our economy. This will provide the revenue we need to operate a government that is affordable, efficient and effective.

We must give the Maine people the power to choose how to spend their own money. It is disgraceful for these politicians to refuse Mainers the opportunity to vote on eliminating the income tax.

You must demand to know why these legislators don’t want you to speak on this issue. The Taxation Committee members who voted against you are: Senator Nathan L. Libby (D-Lewiston); Representative Adam A. Goode (D-Bangor); Representative Stephen S. Stanley (D-Medway); Representative Matthew W. Moonen (D-Portland); Representative Diane M. Russell (D-Portland); Representative Denise A. Tepler (D-Topsham); and Representative Gary E. Sukeforth (I-Appleton).

There is still time for the full legislature to vote on this issue. If you want to eliminate the income tax, find out who your local legislators are. Call them and let them know how you feel.

You, the people of Maine, deserve a say in how $1.2 billion of your hard-earned money is being wasted. Mainers deserve better.

Thank You

Paul R. LePage

Governor

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