Gov. LePage recently introduced his new tax initiative, which appears to principally benefit the wealthy. The goal is to modernize our tax structure – especially reducing income tax.

Part of the proposal is an expansion and increased rate of the sales tax, now re-branded as a voluntary and discretionary consumption tax, a good portion is said to be paid by visitors to the state.

Out-of-state visitors will probably not complain about taxes on their vacation trip to the golf links, but what about everyone else?

There is nothing optional or voluntary about the immediate 6.5 percent increase in the price of formerly untaxed service items such as haircuts, auto or computer repair – or so many other necessary things that ordinary Mainers must purchase every day.

The governor has said nothing about the effect of the increase on the minimum-wage worker paying more for everything, nor about the small store owner who suddenly is even less competitive with Amazon or the tax-free shops in New Hampshire. Every pair of shoes, piece of lumber, light bulb or auto purchased will suddenly be more expensive.

This is a small part of a package that includes eliminating revenue-sharing for towns, thus increasing property taxes for homeowners; a plan to tax nonprofits that would beggar already cash-strapped organizations; a “bonus depreciation” proposal to allow large companies doing business in Maine to write down capital investments retroactively, and an elimination of estate tax that would primarily benefit the wealthy.

Maine does deserve a fair and equitable tax system that works for everyone – not just a few. Voters should ask their elected representatives to go beyond the platitudes and prove that these new proposals are more than simple pandering to corporations and the well-off. We can and should do better.

Greg Rossel