I want our representatives to look at an alternative plan for funding local communities. Ask most Mainers about their number one gripe and I’m sure the response would be taxes, never mind costly health insurance.

This time of year, with many communities going through dreaded revaluation, property tax comes to the forefront. The nicer you keep your property, the more tax you pay. Most people can tolerate a $100-$300 increase, but when townspeople are asked to come up with $1,000-plus, then trouble occurs.

The poor and retired can’t pay, and the middle class takes it on the chin.

The majority of our property tax funds the public schools. We want our children to have a great education, but can’t keep paying high property taxes. What percentage of people budget for their property taxes? When the bill comes, I believe a good portion of people don’t have, or refuse, to pay. How do we get everyone to pay their fair share?

My plan: A flat tax on gross income. Eliminate property tax.

Pros: Everyone pays (retirees would have lower rates on their Social Security or Maine State Retirement payments.) No need to budget for property taxes. The unemployed would pay the same percentage.

Cons: Businesses claiming losses, weekly, monthly or yearly; the renter who is taxed on his/her income plus their rent going up because the landlord has to pay his/her income.

I implore legislators to discuss this plan. My proposal seems so simple. Please don’t let it go unnoticed.

George Ferguson, Sabattus


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