At a time when taxpayers of this state pay millions of dollars to subsidize private, for-profit enterprises, the situation unfolding between Portland and Auto Europe over the end of TIF tax breaks shows a mentality among some business owners that is destructive, unpatriotic and increasingly pervasive.

The CEO of Auto Europe, Imad Khalidi, is quoted as saying: “I am frustrated, the state of Maine does nothing for us. The city of Portland does nothing for us” (“What happens when the tax break ends?” Aug 6).

This statement was made on the heels of a 15-year tax incentive program that directed more than $1 million of rightfully owed tax expenditures back into Auto Europe’s business, defraying costs the company would have otherwise borne.

How is it possible that Mr. Khalidi doesn’t see this blatant contradiction between statement and fact?

Further, Mr. Khalidi should consider that Portland taxpayers have also provided his business with safe streets and emergency services; working sewers and water supply; reliable electricity, phone and Internet; an educated and productive work force and so much more

When a company attempts to hold taxpayers hostage in order not to relocate jobs, it shows an incredible level of arrogance. 

In this case, one should question why Auto Europe didn’t plan for the end of a tax program they knew for 15 years was coming. 

It also forces one to wonder if the business model is not so flawed that it is unprofitable unless subsidized. Lastly, how does a business tell taxpayers there is enough capital to relocate, but not enough to remain in the city that invested in its success?

Mr. Khalidi should ask himself: Is it the city that is going to “send him to hell” or his own selfish mentality and poor business planning that will banish him to this place?

Read D. McNamara Jr.


TIFS are an economic hardship for retired Portland taxpayers. Our elected officials do a great disservice to those of us who have to make cuts each year in order to pay our tax bills. What is it that they do not understand about a regressive tax and its impact on seniors?

My retirement income has increased three-quarters of a percent in the last three years, and that is taxable. My property tax has gone up 10 percent. Senior taxpayers should get an adjustable credit to offset any TIF.

I could support property tax increases if I did not observe stupid spending. Just one example (and we have many) is the separate vote on the school budget that adds $20,000 to our taxation.

Follow the same path seniors have to take each year and cut the waste!

Art Sears


Dill the right choice to represent Maine in D.C.

A vote for Cynthia Dill is a vote for the future. Dill believes, as many of us do, that the richest among us should pay a little bit more in taxes. That to begin with, we must let the Bush tax cuts expire. The idea that the job creators need to pay less taxes to provide those jobs is a myth.

Dill believes in the Affordable Care Act. She sees already what it has done for citizens in Maine. She believes in equal pay for equal work. Well, doesn’t that just make sense! She voted against any attempts to lessen child-labor rules. She understands that the minimum wage must be raised to a living wage.

Dill believes so much can be done for all of us and still be fiscally prudent. She believes that quality education is essential to prepare our youth to boost our economy and to be ready for the future.

Dill is the only candidate who has come out against assault weapons. She supports Second Amendment rights, but she is concerned about our public safety. She supports guns for hunting and protection. She is not afraid of the NRA.

Now is the time to support a really committed candidate for the U.S. Senate. We need to be sure that the person we elect will be there for us, will be honest and transparent about her ideas and plans and tell us why she favors or disagrees with an issue.

It takes several years to become a Senate leader and to effect change. The independent candidate is not the right choice. We need someone who is committed to the Democratic platform who will be in the Senate long enough to be a national leader. Cynthia Dill is that person.

Ellen Harris-Howard


Railroad proposal reminds reader of his childhood

I read with interest your story regarding the proposed imposition of a “quiet zone” near the railroad. Could it be that these people didn’t know the railroad ran by their property when they acquired it? I, being a Freeporter by birth and having grown up in that town, have fond memories of those days of my youth when I stayed at my grandparents’ house situated beside the tracks directly across from the present Hilton Garden Inn.

Back in those times (1940s), many trains passed through Freeport day and night, seemingly endless freight trains and passenger trains that raced through at much higher speeds than allowed today. My sleep may have been interrupted for a couple nights, after which I would sleep through the night undisturbed.

In time, I learned to identify the numbers of those mighty steam locomotives and in many cases the names of the different engineers just by the sound of the whistles and the way they blew them. You can imagine the excitement to a young boy upon being invited to ride in the locomotive while the “local freight” was setting off and picking up freight cars. Those were memorable days long ago.

Makes one wonder, how on earth did we ever survive those terrible years?

David I. Goldrup


Regular air route would let Maine, Ireland trade goods

As a guide for the Old Port Tour, now sponsored by the Maine Historical Society, I tell tourists that back in the 1800s, the port of Portland was one of the busiest on the East Coast because we are one day closer to Europe.

With this in mind, I wrote to Gov. LePage and suggested that he “spread the idea around” that we should establish an air-transport system from Maine, the gateway to the United States, to Ireland, the gateway to Europe, consisting of two crossings a day (one over, one back), by which small businesses on both sides could offer their products for sale to the other side. Ireland could use the boost, too.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could be shipping (flying) our lobsters over to the tables in Paris?

The Rev. Joseph R. McKenna