May 1, 2013

Bill Nemitz: A tax plan that cuts it for Mainers

By Bill Nemitz bnemitz@pressherald.com

(Continued from page 1)

And lest we forget, there's the property-tax reset: All Maine residents would get a $50,000 homestead exemption, netting as much as $1,000 per household in communities with sky-high property-tax rates. In addition, the truly needy would qualify for a "property tax fairness credit" of as much as $1,000.

(Hear that, Florida snowbirds? Re-establish your legal residency in Maine, and your property tax bill would go down.)

Now, even a casual observer of Maine politics knows that these days, a well-orchestrated press conference does not a tax revolution make.

Still, today's rollout feels different from Maine's past attempts at tax reform -- and not just because Woodbury, its primary catalyst, knows more about this stuff than anyone under the State House dome.

This time, we've got a governor whose own budget proposal -- according to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle -- has about as much chance of survival as a French fry surrounded by a flock of seagulls.

We've got a bipartisan Gang of 11 vowing to stand behind this plan come hell or high water because, for all their political differences, they agree it's simply the right thing to do.

And if we're lucky, we'll even have a citizenry smart enough to ignore the lobbyists howling -- and they will howl -- that this package portends the death of Maine's tourism industry.

Which brings us back to you folks from away.

As you book your reservations online and scan the Internet for the latest in manly Speedo wear, my bet is that all this tax talk matters a lot more to us than it does to you.

My bet is that you'd never (evah!) turn your back on Vacationland over ten bucks a day -- and the reason why is as clear as that deep-water lake you've been dreaming about all winter.

Maine's worth every penny.


Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:



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