Gov. LePage wants the proposal to ax the income tax to be put to a public vote. Let’s do him one better.

The Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council promote the identical tax policy. The sophomoric book “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States” attempts to justify their tax policies.

The ballot question must make it clear that by eliminating the income tax the cost of government, whether it is big or small, will be funded by higher and expanded sales and excise taxes, and higher property taxes.

Additionally, there should be a companion vote to expand the income tax by creating four new tax brackets and rates as follows: the top 2 percent of income earners, the top 1.5 percent, the top 1 percent and the top 0.5 percent.

This progressive income-tax system is fair and equitable because it balances taxes based upon consumption (sales), which often includes the necessities of life, with wealth.

To say that an increased tax of 1 percent or 2 percent is a redistribution of wealth or that it will send a successful business packing off to Texas is ludicrous.

Maine must invest in creating an affordably educated and trained workforce; building an infrastructure of bridges, roads, Internet and digital networks to market and sell goods; and ensuring dependable health services and decent housing to attract businesses.

The promise of prosperity because of no income tax is a half-truth; only the wealthy benefit. The unemployment rates and the percentage of medically uninsured in five of the nine no-income-tax states are among the highest in the U.S. In four no-income-tax states, child poverty is very high, ranging from 23 percent to 27 percent.

It is time to put both measures to a vote.

Michael Westcott