Nearly 50 towns across Maine have passed resolutions rejecting the extreme cuts and tax shifts proposed in Governor LePage’s two year budget. In just the last week, the towns of South Berwick, Freeport, Ellsworth and Old Town have passed resolutions urging lawmakers to consider tax fairness as an alternative to increasing property taxes and cutting essential services.
“What’s unique about this grassroots effort is that these towns aren’t just speaking out about cuts that affect them, they’re offering a solution. They’re rejecting regressive property tax increases and calling on the state to raise revenue in a more equitable way” said Dr. Heidi Brooks of Lewiston, a volunteer who has worked to pass resolutions in area towns. “Instead of once again hurting our communities, we can fix our broken tax system and begin to make things more fair.”
Governor LePage’s two-year budget includes cuts to education and healthcare, in addition to ending $200 million in revenue sharing to Maine’s towns. An analysis conducted by the Maine Municipal Association finds that Old Town alone is set to lose over $1 million from their budget if revenue sharing is ended.
“Resolved, the City of Ellsworth calls upon the Maine Legislature to reject these proposals, identify less harmful cost savings, and raise revenue in an equitable fashion to avoid this regressive tax shift,” reads the resolution passed on March 18th in Ellsworth.
An interactive map of towns where resolutions are planned to be submitted, and where resolutions have passed can be found here.