As a member of the Maine Green Independent Party, and as a citizen elected to a municipal office, I am concerned with details of Gov. LePage’s proposed budget, which cuts the upper income tax rates.

It increases sales taxes by broadening the base and increasing the rate. This consumption tax will affect low- and middle-class citizens, who spend most of their income on goods and services.

The governor’s proposal level-funds revenue-sharing for the next fiscal year and eliminates it altogether thereafter. He commented that he could find 10 percent of waste in any organization.

As a member of the Limerick Budget Committee, I can attest that every line item in the local budget is analyzed. Departmental budgets are voted on at the town meeting. No dollar amount can be increased, but budgets can be reduced after discussion and voting.

Eliminating revenue-sharing from local budgets necessitates increasing property taxes imposed on our citizens. To offset increases, the governor wants to allow municipalities to tax nonprofits with assets above $500,000. How many towns in Maine have such a well-heeled nonprofit to tax? This tax increase will be borne by local citizens.

Gov. LePage stated that nonresidents with vacation homes could bear the brunt of these increases. How many communities have enough vacation home owners who can be taxed to offset this loss of revenue? This tax increase on Mainers will be especially egregious in rural and small towns, where the tax base is made up of hardworking local residents.

The Maine Green Independent Party urges citizens to contact their local legislators to express concern with the effect this budget proposal will have on property taxes. This is one more attempt to reward the governor’s wealthy allies at the expense of “we the people.”

Gil Harris

co-chair, Maine Green Independent Party and member, Limerick Budget Committee