February 10, 2013

Dan Demeritt: LePage in his element with plan to halt municipal revenue sharing

He's passionate about his belief that taxes are too high because we have too much government – and government redundancy.

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He is absolutely right. The decisions we make about how and where we deliver local services have a very real impact on our tax burden. In the city of Hallowell, for example, community leaders currently are considering three options for how the city will provide fire protection for the community. Its choices are reflective of the challenges, traditions and opportunities presented by our system of local control.

Hallowell, which has a volunteer department today, is considering building its own new station. A second option is a cooperative station with neighboring Farmingdale. Alternatively, Hallowell could contract for services through Augusta's full-time, professional fire department.

All three options present roughly the same annual expense, but I prefer the plan to contract through Augusta because it eliminates the capital costs of a new building and provides the protection of a professional full-time fire department.

Of course my preference does not count because I do not live in Hallowell.

The cost of the decision, however, could be borne in small part by us all thanks to revenue sharing and other state-funded property tax programs.

LePage says in fiscally challenging times like these, costly local decisions should be paid for locally. From my house in Sidney, two municipalities removed from Hallowell's tax assessor, the governor's reasoning makes sense to me.

Dan Demeritt is a Republican political consultant and public relations specialist. He is a former campaign aide and communications director for Gov. Paul LePage. He can be contacted at:

dan@win207.com

Twitter: @demerittdan

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