No matter what they’re told, some people just don’t get it.

In the 2016 election, the Maine People’s Alliance succeeded in having a ballot question approved that would have added a 3 percent surtax on upper income earners. Wisely, the Legislature overturned the surtax, advising the public that while the short-term effect would be additional income, the long-term effect would be less income.

Not only would one of the highest top tax rates in the country make even more wealthy people change their legal residence and avoid their entire state tax, such a rate would severely handicap the attraction of new businesses.

A significant percentage of the retired professionals and businesspeople I know have changed their residence, and as successful baby boomers retire, more and more will do the same. Some who are still working have also changed their residence since what they do can be done anywhere.

Now the Maine People’s Alliance is trying the same thing again. This time, a 1.9 percent surcharge would cut in at an even lower wage level: $127,000. For dividend and interest income, which is the primary source for retired wealthy people, an even higher surtax of 3.8 percent would be applied – by far the highest rate in the country.

A short-term gain but long-term stupidity. If the voters don’t get it either, I trust our Legislature will be smart enough to block it again.

John Parker


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.