By House Republican Leader Billy Bob Faulkingham
The decision by legislative Democrats and Governor Mills to ram through a partisan budget, then shut the legislature down three months before our work is done, is disappointing. Maine people want us to work together to solve problems.
Rather than giving tax relief to its citizens or fighting the opioid addiction plaguing Maine’s
neighborhoods, state house Democrats are feeding their own addiction to your money. That addiction is so strong that Democrats are spending almost every penny in their bloated
$10.3 plus billion dollar budget.
To do that, they are bypassing an existing law that limits the growth of spending to protect taxpayers, and then using a cynical parliamentary trick to avoid input from Republicans who represent nearly half the state.
House Republicans have fought to provide an additional $200 million in tax relief for our most vulnerable families who are being crushed with record-breaking costs of living. Low and middle income wage earners need to be able to keep more of their hard-earned money, especially those making under $50,000 a year.
This reduction would help all earners, but especially earners on the lower end of the pay scale.
According to the U.S Congress Joint Economic Committee, it costs the average Maine family an additional $625 a month more than January of last year. That is $7,500 more a year to live in Maine.
House Republicans want to help those who can least afford to pay historic prices for energy,
fuel, food, medicine, and necessities for day to day living. Our proposal was just 2% of the taxpayer money they plan to spend.
We must support Maine workers. Maine’s workforce is getting older, the number of seniors is
growing, and we are still losing too many youth to other, more business friendly states. We need
to keep and support what we have.
There are too few efforts to attract and keep our youth here, as well as support our workers. The
workforce participation rate is also moving in the wrong direction.
Reducing income taxes for lower and middle income people was a modest, reasonable price for
generating a bipartisan budget, recognizing that Democrats are in complete control.
Maine is the third highest tax burdened state by income in the country. In the last year, the state
over-collected $1.5 billion from taxpayers, then returned part of it in the form of $850 and $450
relief checks. Republicans supported those checks, because the alternative was bigger state
budgets, as family budgets get smaller.
The Democrat majority budget communicates to the Maine People that they need to keep
over-collecting your hard-earned money. Their goal is to spend every single dollar of taxpayer
money to expand state government.