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
184 College Ave.
Waterville, ME 04901
207-873-6111 ext. 200
Mayor - City of Waterville