As a native Mainer, and now a ‘vacation’ property owner, I find this new property tax proposal extremely shortsighted and, if enacted, would only exacerbate the real problems: high property taxes and a shortage of affordable housing. (“Our View: Legislature should act to ease housing crunch” April 13)

Maine should be encouraging more vacation home owners, not fewer, as these are a municipality’s best customers. These owners pay full property taxes and place a minimum load on local services – no school expenses, limited trash and traffic, etc. They bring disposable income and contribute to local service businesses- restaurants, property maintenance, etc. In today’s world, capital is extremely mobile and these owners don’t need to be in Maine, especially if the the cost/benefit (taxes/services) of a Maine property becomes even more unfavorable than it already is.

There is also the seemingly un-American issue of taxing people for not using their own own private property. Driving your best customers away does not seem to be a wise business strategy.

Maine legislators need to get busy and focus on the core problems: lack of affordable housing and high local costs (mostly school related). Legislators need to look at local zoning restrictions, public/private ventures, and all things that inhibit investment in more housing stock.

Local school administrators also need to look at all the non-education related costs that have expanded significantly in the last 20 years. Afterschool recreation programs should be provided on a club basis (fee for use).

Let’s do the hard work and solve the real problems.

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