Nobody looks forward to tax time, but I have a suggestion to make paying the state tax a more positive experience: Line 1 of the state tax form offers a “Clean Election” check-off, which directs $3 of a taxpayer’s taxes to Maine’s Clean Election Fund. Checking this box does not lower a person’s refund or raise the tax; it will simply add funds to support Maine state legislative campaigns.

In 2006, 80 percent of legislative candidates ran as “Clean Election” candidates. That meant those candidates were able to spend their campaigns meeting and listening to the voters, rather than searching for campaign money.

Maine is a leader in the effort to take the influence of money out of political campaigns. However, the exceptional rate of participation of candidates in Maine means that funds are needed to replenish the Clean Election Fund.

I urge people to consider checking off Line 1 of their state tax return to support clean elections and the democratic process in Maine.

Lois Wagner, Lewiston

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