Recently, I attended the public hearing on LD 1088, a bill sponsored by Rep. John F. Piotti, D-Unity, and discovered a new meaning of the word fairness.
The meeting room was overflowing. Before the start of the meeting, people were told that in the interest of time each speaker would be allowed three minutes to speak. The first speaker was Piotti, who proceeded to speak for a little more than an hour, followed by economists who collectively spoke for approximately 45 minutes.
Listening to Piotti speak about the fairness of his proposal to expand the sales tax, I wondered why a car mechanic’s labor would be taxed but not that of a barber/hairdresser? Why there would be a sales tax on the labor of a housing contractor and not an accountant or a lawyer? And, as it relates to the business that I am in, why would golf participation be taxed at a public golf course and not a private or municipal golf course?
If this tax reform must be done in the midst of  the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it should be done in a manner that minimizes winners and losers. A broader sales tax might result in a lower income tax rate, especially for people who could use it the most. We are all in this together, and dramatic change can only be successful on a level playing field, with everyone carrying their fair share of the burden.
Joe Golden, Leeds

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