Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

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Henry Clay
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

Representatives Canavan, Trinward and Senator Marrache

As one whose career in business spans over 35 years, I strongly urge you to
send LD1925 back for further consideration. The state cannot expect to get
itself out of financial chaos by taxing it strongest and likely its only
truly remaining asset, Maine's small businesses. This bill puts undo burden
on the 35,000 plus small and micro businesses that can and should be the
foundation for Maine's economy. These are the organizations that demand
little or nothing from government, work to support family and employees and
attempt to contribute to Maine's rich social culture, while paying a
significant tax burden.

The bill essentially shifts the burden of taxes onto the back of these 35
000 businesses, who are already paying their fair share of taxes. They pay
the business taxes and the high personal taxes on homes, sales taxes, etc.,
etc. The process of raising or shifting taxes only delays the inevitable
train wreck the State is headed toward.

Meaningful tax relief can only be achieved by a combination of tax reduction
with a corresponding reduction in expenditures. This has not be done and
unless the Legislature begins the process of prioritizing the needs of the
state in a planned multi-year program to get our house in order, things will
only get worse.

For years the State has attempted to provide everything to everybody, and in
the end is providing little or nothing to most everybody. We cannot attract
good jobs, because our infrastructure in in poor repair, our transportation
system is costly and deficient, our energy cost are some of the highest in
the nation, our labor force ill equipped to perform as it use to do, because
we cannot keep our brightest and most talented young people, taxes at all
levels are either the highest or some of the highest in the nation, medical
insurance costs and workers compensation indemnity are in the top 10 of
being the highest in the nation.

The only area we lead the nation at present is we have the oldest population
with a median age of 40.7 years, and the lowest median aged population under
age 18 and in the working class ages. Having said all this we continue to
try to solve our problems by increasing or shifting the same old tax
structure that got us where we are.

In Waterville, we have lowered our tax burden by setting priorities, we
consolidated department, asked our people to do more with less, we look to
save every penny we can. We have not decreased services, but we have
decreased the dependency on city government being everything to everybody.
We are fixing our city roads, we have built our fund balance, we have
controlled growth in wages. The worst roads in the city are now state aid
roads, which keep being delayed year after year. Last summer the city
repaired two state aid roads for safety, only to have this year's plan again
cancelled for at least the next two-years.

We have tried to live by the intent of LD1, but education costs have been
growing at a rate of three times the inflation rate in our community. While
our enrollment decreases the schools continue to add personnel.
Unfortunately, the city has no jurisdiction on how money is spent, we can
only appropriate funds. However, the Governor understands the problem in
our schools and for the first time since 1969, is trying to make meaningful
changes in his proposed School Consolidation program.

These are the initiatives we need to focus on in order to solve our tax and
spend crisis. I commend the Governor for his foresight and political will
to solve a major problem plaguing our state. You all have a golden
opportunity to help, but to succeed you need to look at tax reform in
conjunction to spending reforms.

I urge you to help our state's future dilemma by voting against the
enactment of LD1925.

Paul R. LePage - GM
Marden's Inc.
184 College Ave.
Waterville, ME 04901
207-873-6111 ext. 200
207-557-8474
207-873-6680

Also
Mayor - City of Waterville

Mike Travers
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

That makes a tremendous amount of sense, Paul. You'll pay for that.

Swaybar
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

Well said Mr. Mayor. I have spoken with Mayor Lepage on State issues many times, he gets it!

Naran
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Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

[quote][b] Mayor vetoes $35.6M budget[/b]

By AMY CALDER
Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel Saturday, June 30, 2007

WATERVILLE -- City councilors on Tuesday will consider approving a $35.6 million municipal and school budget for 2007-08 in light of Mayor Paul R. LePage's veto this week.

..snip
Councilors June 20 approved the budget after amending a proposed $35.4 million budget to add money for two new police officers...
...snip

LePage warned councilors before the vote that if they approved the budget he would veto it. He did just that.[/quote]

[url=http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/news/local/4046448.html]Source[/url]

Bob Stone
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

We need a few more mayors like Paul Lepage.

Steven Scharf
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

[quote]If the council had approved the original $35.4 million budget, the tax rate would have been reduced by $1 per $1,000 worth of valuation -- or from $25.90 per $1,000 to $24.90.

Increasing the budget to $35.6 million reduces the tax rate by only about 75 cents per $1,000.[/quote]

This is what they are really doing right. How many towns and cities can say they are lowering the tax burden*, even if Paul did not think it was enough.

* Assuming that the property valuation did not go down

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Naran
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

[quote][b]$35.5M budget passes[/b]

By AMY CALDER
Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel Wednesday, July 4, 2007

WATERVILLE -- City councilors on Tuesday night approved a proposed $35.5 million municipal and school budget for 2007-08 -- a budget they modified after Mayor Paul R. LePage vetoed it last week.

...snip
Councilors compromised Tuesday, requesting only one officer be added; they also reduced their request for community group support from $9,000 to $5,000. They approved the budget, 7-0.[/quote]

[url=http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/news/local/4058862.html]Source[/url]

BangorTaxpayer
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

We need a few more [b]governors[/b] like Paul Lepage.

BlueJay
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

You're right! This man should be our next governor! :!:

Editor
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Sen. Marrache Threatens to Quit CoC Over FedUpWithTaxes

WATERVILLE: Tax spat splits Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce
BY BETTY JESPERSEN
Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 06/21/2008

WATERVILLE -- There is a policy clash between some members of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce...

At issue is the organization's decision to collect signatures for a petition that would repeal a new beverage tax needed to expand access to the state's Dirigo health-insurance program.

At least two members who disagree with the Chamber's stance, the doctors Lisa/Eric Marrache, now threaten to quit the organization.

The so-called beverage-tax petition drive is organized by Fed Up With Taxes...

[url=http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/news/local/5169558.html]source[/url]

Beth O'Connor
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

If we could clone this man and elect him to every position available I dare say we would all experience utopia!!!

Anonymous
Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

We need more people like Paul LePage period.

Hadley E. Smith
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School taxes up four times inflation over 14 years in SAD 48

[quote]We have tried to live by the intent of LD1, but education costs have been
growing at a rate of three times the inflation rate in our community. While
our enrollment decreases the schools continue to add personnel. [/quote]

Schools Too Expensive for Taxpayers in SAD 48

It is more and more apparent that neither state nor local district taxpayers can afford the huge increases in district school taxes and increased state subsidies to keep up with teacher union contracts without far more job and income growth statewide and in local districts.

The state cannot achieve the 55% target because it does not have the economic and revenue growth to do so. Since Maine has had no income growth in the private sector since 2000, according to Maine Heritage Policy Center, this shortfall is a long-term problem.

This is not a new problem. From 1990 through 2001 the state subsidy for SAD 48 did not increase at all.

As a result, starting in 1994 with a new superintendent, the SAD 48 district board embarked on a monumental increase in school taxes which rose 189% by 2004, while budgets rose 73% and inflation 27%, setting off a taxpayer revolt, which in turn brought about two years of sizable subsidy increases.

With a subsidy increase of 1.7% for 2008-2009, the board found it necessary to cut 12 positions but still increase payrolls 4%, nearly half a million dollars, and school taxes by 12.6%, four times the rate of inflation.

This budget, which was approved by district vote by final vote on June 10, raised the school tax 172% above 1994 which set off the tax revolt 5 years ago, with no inrease at all in school enrollment.

SAD 48 must be prepared for far more substantial cuts in positions and programs if the state subsidy increase does not match inflation plus about 1% to satisfy union demands.

District taxpayers cannot afford to increase school taxes to offset contract shortfalls in the state subsidy which in effect, is an unfunded mandate prohibited in principle during the McKernan administration.

The 2008-2009 budget was not but should have been rejected and revised downward.

Andrew Ian Dodge
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

Wow how very sensible and from Waterville no less. Good to see at least one politician in Maine "gets it".

Melvin Udall
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Re: School taxes up four times inflation over 14 years in SA

[quote]We have tried to live by the intent of LD1, but [b]education costs[/b] have been
growing at a rate of three times the inflation rate in our community. While
our enrollment decreases the schools continue to add personnel. [/quote]

Let's be very clear here. "Education costs" translates to teacher pay and benefits, which generally speaking are contracted for at coverage levels and rates of increase that are nearly obscene, given the complete lack of accountability and performance monitoring.

And we are paying our very best teachers the same as our very worst teachers.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Swaybar
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Re: School taxes up four times inflation over 14 years in SA

[quote="Melvin Udall"][quote]We have tried to live by the intent of LD1, but [b]education costs[/b] have been
growing at a rate of three times the inflation rate in our community. While
our enrollment decreases the schools continue to add personnel. [/quote]

..........And we are paying our very best teachers the same as our very worst teachers.

Yeah, that makes sense.[/quote]

That's what unions are all about!

blkrepublican
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Waterville Mayor Opposes Tax Reform Plan

Maytor LePage,

When a person stands their ground on an issue such as this, my respect goes out to them. You, sir have my respect. Leadership at its best :)

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