Ah, it's summer! Everything is beginning to flourish. The trees have been pruned, the gardens cultivated, and now, time to prune the Maine citizens so the state can flourish, too. The governor claimed LD 1495 would give an income tax break of $400.
How did they arrive at this? If you take the combined income of our 1.2 million Maine residents (with or without employment income) the average income tax paid by each exceeds $400. So, on paper, they logically can grant a $400 tax cut. But now the bill has been passed, the governor states the taxpayer will see a tax break of $106 to $160.
Now, the facts. The majority of Mainers pay little or no state income tax, so the tax break does not even apply to them. They will be privileged to pay 1.5 percent more tax on meals & lodging (meals applies more to the Maine citizen as many of them go out to eat). It is claimed the tourists will contribute the most. The Maine Restaurant Association reports that 68 percent of all meals are consumed by Maine customers. Hmm.
Next, the 5 percent sales tax is expanded to labor charges on all forms of service: automotive, appliance, technology, heating systems, etc. and etc. I'm just a lowly bean counter dealing with business facts, daily, but where are all these great savings? The average Maine citizen, employed or unemployed, will see no savings but will pay out greatly in increased taxes.
Norm Demers, Lewiston