Maine Democrats have decided they want to increase taxes on Mainers by nearly $40 million.

As Rep. Jeff McCabe expressed in a Sun Journal guest column (Feb. 17), Democrats don’t want to allow 4,000 Maine small business filers to continue having access to a tax credit that encourages investment in our state. The Maine Capital Investment Credit, which McCabe stridently argues against, gives local, family-run businesses the opportunity to invest in new equipment, repair equipment, buy inventory, maybe even give an employee bonus, or take a little bit to help support their own family.

It is true that large businesses such as Walmart and Hannaford can also claim the MCIC. But why is that such a bad thing? You probably know people who earn a living at those stores. I certainly do.

Doubling down on their opposition to tax relief, Democrats decided that education funding is the best political tool for holding tax relief legislation hostage. It should be debated, but it is a separate issue.

By tying education funding to the MCIC, Democrats are attempting to do away with this important investment tool. They are playing election year games that are also endangering full conformity with the federal tax code. Conforming to the federal code provides real tax relief to Mainers. Benefits include a tax deduction for teachers, a tax deduction on tuition and a child care tax credit.

While I support education funding, Democrats are simply using this topic to create an election-year talking point. It’s not related to the MCIC or tax conformity, and is simply a political strategy to stonewall tax relief. Rep. McCabe failed to mention in his column that since 2010, state funding for education has increased by more than $100 million.


By dragging out their fight against beneficial tax relief, Democrats are telling businesses they can’t count on Maine to have a predictable tax code. We have recently heard news about Krispy Kreme considering investments here and Wayfair bringing nearly 1,000 jobs to the state. Do we want to discourage new employers from coming to Maine? Or do we want to send the message Maine is a good state for doing business?

I prefer to have more businesses here to employ Mainers. We can’t continue moving people off the welfare rolls if we don’t have more employers expanding job opportunities within the state.

In stonewalling, Democrats are also stopping teachers, parents and students from taking advantage of tax benefits for themselves.

Rep. McCabe and his Democrat colleagues seem intent on using election year sloganeering to tie two unrelated issues together.

I intend to stand firm to help Mainers keep more of their hard-earned money.

Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn

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