This is in response to the March 21 article “Stores rip lottery plan.” The “plan” being a proposal to reduce the commission to stores for selling lottery tickets.

The state is looking for a new way to take money from hardworking Mainers without calling it a tax increase.

As a new small business owner, I haven’t taken home a paycheck for more than three months. I would like to see a few more numbers from Dan Gwadosky, director of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations. Gwadosky’s sales and commission numbers were from retail establishments in highly populated urban areas that appear to be raking in the dough. But what about the small businesses serving people in rural areas?

The cost of doing business in Maine is high, and it’s passed on to the public. The reduction in lottery commission will ultimately lead to price increases to a store’s other products and services in order to fight off insolvency. Those price increases raise the amount of tax paid by the consumer, providing the state with additional money to squander. That appears to be a win-win situation for the state by taking money away from businesses and raking in more money from the consumers.

It’s time Maine’s officials lived within the state’s means and to stop digging into the pocket of the hardworking population.

Once this long hard winter is over, I look forward to taking home my first paycheck… if business picks up.

Robby Hawkins, Norway

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