Administration Is Open to Taxing Health Benefits
By JACKIE CALMES and ROBERT PEAR Published: March 14, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.
The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses….NY Times
Next time you get a bill from the hospital, remember that they are exempt from paying the same taxes that you have to pay. How is that fair? Doctors get to drive around in $50,000 cars while you can barely afford to keep your rust bucket going. Makes a lot of sense to me. It’s about time the exemptions be removed. Hospitals are businesses, not nonprofit organizations today. They should have to pay property taxes just like you and I do.
Tax bill targets hospital waiver
A landlord who leases a building to the federal government or a state agency pays local property taxes on the building. The same goes for someone who leases a building to a charity, such as the Boys & Girls Club or the March of Dimes.
Maine law, however, exempts landowners from paying taxes if they rent their buildings to hospitals. In fact, hospitals – which are able to obtain more favorable leases because of the exemption – are effectively the only organizations that enjoy this benefit.
Maine’s cities and towns are trying to change that.
They support a bill in the Legislature’s Taxation Committee that would remove the hospital exemption. At its workshop session last Wednesday, the committee reached a consensus to repeal the exemption……. PPH
GOP blasts Baldacci on gap
AUGUSTA — The financial status of Maine’s Medicaid program has drawn new cries of alarm from Republican lawmakers, but Democratic Gov. John Baldacci’s budget chief says the GOP math is flawed.
The Legislature’s top Republican leaders, backed up by prominent House and Senate colleagues, issued a joint blast late Friday accusing the Baldacci administration of seeking to bury news that the state MaineCare program – as Medicaid in Maine is known – faces a $235 million shortfall through June 30.
“This is extremely troubling news,” Senate Republican leader Kevin Raye of Perry said………..PPH
Cops sneaking in the back door
The police in Maine take much for granted, including stealing our civil rights. That’s right folks, the state and local PD’s are not your friends. The Supreme Court has ruled they have no duty to protect you. They can take our tax dollars, but their first responsibility is not to protect the public, who pay their salaries. But they have no problem relieving us of our civil rights. Think about that the next time they host a traffic stop under the pretense of a safety check. They have no legal right to do that. It is in fact a violation of the US Constitution. But they get away with it because we let them. Why should we end up paying more taxes so they can hire back their Commie union brothers?
Police hope stimulus funds may counter local budget cuts
Anticipated budget cuts in Lisbon could cost the local police force as many as two officers – more than 10 percent of the 15-person department – after one position was already cut this fiscal year.
“It has a definite impact on the response and availability, and it has an impact on overtime,” said Police Chief David Brooks. “Another big concern I have is officer safety. The less there are out there to cover each other, the more safety consequences they have to be aware of.”………PPH
Stimulus package increases criminal justice grants
The federal stimulus package approved by Congress includes a major increase in the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, federal law enforcement funding that has been sharply cut in recent years.
The state’s Justice Assistance Council is scheduled to meet Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Safety in Augusta to take public testimony on how Maine’s $9.6 million share should be spent.
The state is likely to propose spending the funds on computer upgrades that would allow different sectors of the criminal justice system to communicate and access one another’s databases, said Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Anne Jordan………PPH
Where there’s smoke there’s fire
The federal increase in tobacco taxes will raise the cost of smoking by .62 cents a pack on April Fool’s Day. Is it going to be fitting, or are we going to take a stand and resist higher taxation to feed the Socialist reforms Obama wants to impose upon us. ALL tobacco taxes are going up by the way.
And check this out…Georgia even wants to tax your groceries! Will Comrade Baldacci follow suit?