This is in response to Mayor Robert Macdonald’s letter “Lewiston a struggling city” (March 31).

Federal law prevents Lewiston from closing its doors to those who are legally present. Given that, let’s focus on solutions instead of bemoaning reality. Giving asylum-seekers help quickly so that they can start working is just common sense.

The mayor says his concern is for taxpayers and the money that it costs to provide help to asylum-seekers. If the mayor is worried about taxpayers, why isn’t he writing about the governor’s budget that would cost Lewiston property taxpayers more than $500 per year?

The governor’s budget would eliminate the homestead exemption for homeowners under the age of 65 — representing a $550 tax increase for the average homeowner.

If a household makes less than $92,000 a year, then, under the governor’s budget, taxes are going up. Meanwhile, his budget gives a $22,000 tax break to those people making more than $384,000 a year by taking from the rest of the people.

The mayor plays a familiar game of bait and switch. He yells loudly about immigrants costing each city resident about $4 a year in taxes and takes a silent back seat while the governor takes hundreds from each resident to pay for another tax break for the rich.

I know Macdonald will be watching my work. I will listen for him to speak out against the governor’s budget that would hurt Lewiston taxpayers.

He should stop blaming the poor. The problem is a system that’s rigged in favor of rich, powerful special interests.

Rep. Jared Golden, Lewiston

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