Maine Tax Reform?

Posted: 16/06/2007 in Uncategorized
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So we did it again. Added the debt due for the little grand kiddies. The State of Maine decided to approve more expenditures on bonds, with utter disregard for the consequences. The big issue the Bond votes of 12 June, 2007. They’re both a mild, non threatening issues, #1 requesting approval for nearly 113 million for road and bridge work, the second asks for over 18 million for drinking water and sewer improvements. The thing that disturbs me about both issues is the fact that they are being pushed because of the Federal monies we can get by the approval of these bonds. In the real world, if you approve of #1, you are agreeing to take $373,500,000.00 out of your pocket. Actually, your offspring will be paying the bill. For bond #2 it’ll be a charge of $67,800,000.00. There seems to be no effort to justify hundreds of millions of tax dollars to be spent. Do you want to spend the taxes you pay on these projects? $441,300,000.00 is the grand total of the tax burden in the short haul. Was interest going to be paid on any of these bonds? That will add more to the tab.

Tax reform is needed in this state, and there is no argument from any source, including me. However, for any tax reform to be truly meaningful, we must first have spending reform. By raising more taxes, all we are doing is allowing our elected officials to spend more. We need to begin reigning in that carefree attitude they seem to be afflicted with. The tax burden is way too high. According to the Tax Foundation reports, Maine is a true welfare state. This statement from them explains what I mean by Maine being a welfare state:

“Federal Tax Burdens and Expenditures: Maine is a Beneficiary State :

Maine taxpayers receive more federal funding per dollar of federal taxes paid than the average state. Per dollar of federal tax collected in 2004, Maine citizens received approximately $1.40 in the way of federal spending. This ranks the state 16th highest nationally, but represents a decline from 1992, when Maine received $1.48 per dollar of taxes in federal spending and ranked 4th highest nationally. Neighboring states and the federal spending received per dollar of federal taxes collected were: New Hampshire ($0.67) and Massachusetts ($0.77).

Comparing the amount of federal taxes sent to Washington with the amount of federal spending coming back to the state”
(source Tax Foundation ) for more info, http://www.taxfoundation.org.

We’re taking in more than we are contributing to the Federal government. That means other states are supporting us. By increasing the debt by approving bonds to allow more spending, we’re making the problem worse. Apparently today’s politicians feel they have no need to learn from the past. Taxes have always been an issue in this country. There once was a time when our elected officials were more easily controlled by the populace. Responsibility and pride comprised a large part of the American experience. Today, the government controls us and is in turn controlled by special interest needs. Instead of becoming a state that can hold its head high, and be a leader among states, we are doomed to shuffle along accepting handouts from other states, to pay for things we do not need.

With Maine being such a huge welfare state we must remember that somebody has to pay theses bills. We already suck up more in federal dollars than we pay back. That means we are living off of the generosity of the other states. This is a condition that must change. Reducing State expenditures in all aspects of government is the only way to return Maine to a desirable and meaningful place to live. Instead of being New England’s weekend cottage, we can return to the prominence we once held. We can return to being an economic player instead of a little dog eating scraps from its masters plate.

Baldacci’s plan to tax the crap out of us isn’t going to help matters. All it will do is prompt the Legislature to spend more money. Election time is coming, let’s start making these Public Servants responsible for the actions they take. This time around it was over 440 million dollars, what about the next time bonds are asked for? When are we going to mstart demanding spending reform from Augusta?

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