As the mayor of Waterville, Paul LePage went on a swearing rant about the possibility that revenue sharing might be cut. Without it, he could not have balanced the budget without cutting services and/or increasing the property tax.
Now, he calls revenue sharing “welfare” for municipalities.
LePage lists two of his accomplishments as paying the hospital debt and a tax cut. He neglects to indicate that the tax cut came at the expense of municipalities by deep cuts in revenue sharing. That resulted in a shift to local property taxes and service cuts. That will be exacerbated by the proposal of a further cut in revenue sharing.
The tax cut also came at the expense of state retirees. The primary beneficiaries of the cuts are those at the top of the income scale. The cuts were made without a way to pay for them. Perhaps it is time to repeal them.
Hospitals will again incur debt because of LePage’s refusal to expand MaineCare to the working poor. The uninsured will still go to hospitals, but hospitals will not be reimbursed. Many working folks are unable to purchase insurance because of low wages. They cannot afford preventive care that helps lower costs for all of us.
Legislators should have the fortitude to put aside ideology and make decisions that do not shift tax burdens to local property taxpayers. Nor should they make cuts in services to those who can least afford to be without those services.
Stan Tetenman, Poland