I am a small business owner and cancer survivor, and, on May 2, I traveled to Augusta with my wife Jenny to testify for LD 1491, the Maine Work Credit, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Expanding the EITC to middle-income earners will directly benefit tens of thousands of small business owners all across our state, including me. While lobbyists often use small business owners to argue against a fair tax system, the grand majority of us are solidly working class. In 2016 the median income for a small business owner with an incorporated firm was $41,921. We did not become small business owners to get rich, but rather to follow our dreams and support our families and our communities. The Maine Work Credit will help us to do that.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with myxofibrosarcoma, a rare cancer that forms in connective tissue. It attacked my elbow, then my lungs, and then my lymphatic system. To date, I’ve had nine surgeries and 55 radiation treatments. My wife Jenny has been there the whole way for me, driving me to doctors’ appointments when I couldn’t drive myself, researching treatments, and helping me to get through the toughest days. She’s one of the countless Mainers currently caring for a family member. While caregiving is crucial work, we do not value it. The Maine Work Credit would benefit at least 14,400 caregivers who were previously ineligible for the EITC. We live in the oldest state in the nation, and it is key to our future to value the countless caretakers who will care for aging family members.

The Maine Work Credit is a win for small business owners, is a win for caregivers, and is a win for Maine families.

David Tuemmler

North Yarmouth

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