Congratulations to members of the Maine Legislature for once again failing to support the taxpayers of Maine. In one single vote, they managed to do more damage to Maine’s lowest income earners and the elderly than anything in recent years.

Two years ago, the budget passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature included tax cuts for all working Mainers. Some have since tried to point out that Maine’s wealthiest received far too great a tax cut, from 8.5 percent to 7.95 percent, a cut of 6.5 percent. Yet the new budget includes a 10 percent increase in sales taxes and a 13.4 percent increase in meals and lodging.

Given that practically all sales tax revenue comes from Mainers and by far the great majority of all meals and lodging is paid by Mainers (including use of campgrounds for those on a limited budget), this budget does nothing to help Maine’s economy and puts more burden on Maine’s poorest, who can least afford the increases.

On one hand, legislators now ask for additional adults, ages 21-45, to be covered under MaineCare expansion under the premise that they cannot afford traditional insurance, but with the other hand they manage to tax them further into poverty.

Perhaps it is not the low-information voter the public should be concerned with, but rather the low-information legislator making such poor decisions that needs the most attention.

Robert Reed, Lewiston

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