Sen. Susan Collins and I don’t belong to the same party, but I know I speak for many of my (and her) constituents when I say she earned our respect back in July when she voted to protect hundreds of Portland families from financial hardship by blocking efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She rightly received a hero’s welcome at the Bangor airport, and I believe she would have received the same had she flown into Portland.

In the coming days she will once again have an opportunity to protect Portlanders by voting “no” on the federal tax reform legislation.

Just recently, the city of Portland approved a program offering significant property-tax relief for our seniors: up to $900 per household going to those over 62 who are being priced out of their homes. Unfortunately, many of the same seniors we just helped could see some or all of their gains lost under the current bill.

Additionally, the loss of the state and local tax deduction would cause thousands of working Portland families to see their taxes increase. Estimates indicate that one in five middle-class families could see their taxes rise by almost $700 a year. That is simply too much.

Sen. Collins showed us with her health care vote, and I hope she will show again, that she will stick to her principles and do what she believes is right regardless of how it impacts her politically. I am asking that she again listen to her heart and to the voices of thousands of Portlanders that this tax bill is a bad deal for our state, our nation and our great city.

Ethan Strimling