WINDHAM – It seems everyone agrees that Maine does not have a revenue problem, but we have a huge spending problem.

Where that money comes from and how it is spent is the battle.

There is a source of revenue that would generate revenue in excess of the billion-dollar range, but our legislators don’t seem to want to look at it. This idea has been shown to several people.

According to Peter Tucker at Maine Revenue Services, the state does not tax saltwater marina docking and mooring fees. I believe it is the only state on the East Coast that does not have such a tax.

As an educated guess, let’s say there are 100,000 or maybe 200,000 pleasure boats that tie up on the Maine coast, and they could be taxed at the very reasonable level of $1,000 per year.

If you look at the number of pleasure boats on the coast of Maine, you can see the revenue would be enough to solve our problems and give some relief to the average Mainer, who cannot afford another nickel of tax or fees.

This tax would be in the 10 percent range and would exclude watercraft used for business (fishing and tourism).

While I am one who gets riled up every time I hear the word tax increase or fee increase, I feel that this tax would solve a lot of problems.

IF LAWMAKERS ARE RESPONSIBLE

If we could trust our legislators to be responsible and cut waste and do away with programs that make Maine a sanctuary state for welfare, we could become a solvent state and be able to fix our roads and pay our hospitals the millions we owe them.

If we don’t have the elected officials to do this, then we need to replace them. We need people in Augusta that will think with their minds and not their hearts to make the tough choices that need to be made.

The amount of revenue that this would produce would allow us to do away with all the nuisance taxes and fees that are being put on practically everything we eat, use, or buy which hurts the everyday hard-working people of this state who are paying the taxes, yet do not even have decent roads to travel on to get to work.

This tax, for once, would be a tax on the people who can most afford it, not the least-prosperous among us. This segment of our population spends thousands of dollars on fuel just to enjoy the beautiful coast of Maine, so I’m sure a 10 precent tax on their mooring fees would not be a hardship.

We have thousands of non-residents who use Maine as their playground year round which is good for our economy and we don’t want to discourage that — but think of the infrastructure and services they use, such as police, fire and rescue and roads.

Our state parks are top-notch, but it takes a lot of money to maintain them, so why shouldn’t we expect our visitors to pay their fair share?

NOT DISCRIMINATORY

Legislators cannot hide behind the claim of discrimination because we have taxes on beer, wine and tobacco that target specific groups, and there are many more.

While there would be plenty of excuses for not doing this, I don’t believe there is a legitimate reason why this couldn’t be done. Could it be that they don’t want to act on this because most of their re-election money comes from the people who would be taxed?

We hear year after year from our officials that we need to make it a priority to fix roads, bridges, and old water and sewer lines — so they raise bonds for it and then spend the money on other things.

In my mind a priority is the first project, not the last, and this source of revenue would solve a lot of problems and put people to work at the same time. It seems reasonable and doable to me.