* An earlier version of this email said that budget hearings start NEXT WEEK. They actually start THIS WEEK!
As many of you know, public hearings for Governor LePage's biennial budget start THIS WEEK.
Please see below for dates and times of public hearings. If you would
like to attend the public hearing or if you would like to help organize
folks in your community to turn out to the public hearings, please
contact MDP's Field Organizer Jonathan Hillier at email@example.com
March 13: 1:00pm, Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee Room
on the 2nd floor of the State Hou
se. This hearing on cuts to revenue sharing which represent a missive
tax shit onto towns and property tax payers. Maine People's Alliance,
along with other allies, will hold a training at 11am in Legislative
Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of the State House for those who wish
to need help with testimony.
- Monday, March 18 at 10am,
Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee Room on the 2nd floor of
the State House. This hearing will focus on education cuts.
- OFF SITE HEARINGS: March 25 in Brewer (more info TBA)
- OFF SITE HEARING: April 8 in Wells (more info TBA)
In this email you will find talking points that will be helpful for the upcoming hearing on the property tax shift.
TALKING POINTS: LePage Tax Shift
LINE MESSAGE: Proposed cuts to municipalities and programs like circuit
breaker and homestead exemption are just going to shift costs to towns
and property tax payers.
SUPPORTING THEMES AND FACTS:
EXAMPLES OF IMPACTS:
budget proposal is taking the easy way out by passing the buck to
municipalities rather than addressing the state’s budget problems head
- Governor LePage and the Republicans say that they don’t want
to increase taxes on Maine people yet LePage has proposed a budget that
will hike up property taxes and take more money out of the pockets of
working Mainers in order t
o pay for unfunded tax cuts that largely benefit Maine’s wealthiest.
- This budget is an example of misguided priorities. The
Republicans would rather undermine government and its ability to meet
the needs of Maine people than ask everyone to pay their fair
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES:
cuts leave two options to local towns: 1) increase property taxes 2)
cut important funding to schools, road repairs or other municipal
- Year after year municipalities struggle to put a
budget together. We’ve already cut our local budget to the bone and it’s
costing all of us. We continually face the threat of having to close a
school or leave unsafe bridges and roads unprepared. Cutting even
more funding to towns and municipalities will only make matters worse.
- As a working Mainer who struggles to make ends meet, I can’t afford to see my property taxes increase. Balancing the b
udget on the backs of working people is unacceptable.
best talking points tell a personal story. Please look over these
talking points and think of local and personal examples of how cuts to
municipalities and increased property taxes will impact you
and your family. For example, perhaps your local school board is
struggling to keep your local school over because of continued loss of
funds from the state or perhaps your town is already increasing property
taxes to keep schools open and roads repaired.
ADVANCE COPY – Democratic Radio Address Text EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE ON MARCH 9 Contact: Ann Kim: 287-1430, cell 233-1838 REP. MCCABE: GOVERNOR MUST RESPECT THE WILL OF VOTERS, RELEASE BONDS TO STIMULATE ECONOMY
od morning. I’m Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan. Thank you for tuning in.
Maine’s economy needs a jump start. Fifty-thousands of our friends and neighbors remain out of work.
have a sure-fire way to give our economy a shot in the
arm and create jobs. Maine voters have approved bonds that would pump
nearly $300 million dollars of investment into our state economy.
problem is that Governor Paul LePage is holding these bonds
hostage. He is refusing to release these bonds until he gets his
way on his liquor contract proposal. This is no way to perform the work
that Maine people elected us to do.
governor has arbitrarily and artificially linked the release of
voter-approved bonds to his convoluted plan for the state’s wholesale
liquor business and the final debt payment to our hospitals.
a debt that Democrats take seriously – so much so that we improved the
payment system to ensure further debt does not occur.
has been paying the hospitals steadily and increasingly. Maine
has already paid more than $3.7 billion to hospitals over the past
bonds the governor is holding hostage are in no way related to the
governor’s liquor plan. But he insists on pretending that they are.
are bipartisan bond packages that the Legislature passed by a
two-thirds vote before sending them out to the voters. Some of these
bonds by a Republican-controlled Legislature.
Maine voters approved the bonds at the polls in 2010 and 2012. The governor must stop disrespecting the will of Maine people. Instead,
he has essentially handed the Legislature and Maine voters a ransom
note. It’s one that reads, “I have your bonds. If you ever expect to see
their benefit, you better give me what I want.”
These bonds should already be boosting our economy and creating jobs in areas like transportation, higher education construction
and clean water improvements.
bonds are worth much more than their $105 million face value. For some
of these projects, we could be taking advantage of a 5:1 federal
match. There’s also the priceless value of getting our economy
to tell you about the kinds of projects the governor has stalled:
· community health and dental clinics that keep our people healthy – and more productive in the workplace;
· improved roads and bridges to facilitate commerce;
the seaports and airports needed for travel and to ship and receive goods;
· conservation that protects our natural resources – a vital part of our heritage that draws visitors to our state; · historic preservation that can help our downtowns thrive;
· and investments in higher education to help Maine compete for the jobs of tomorrow.
around our state are waiting for these investments. They include rural
towns where the local economies are in particular need of a boost.
Maine voters – whether they went to the polls in
Calais or Kittery – did not know our chief executive would disregard
their voices in this way. How could they have possibly anticipated such a
need to move on these projects. Spring and construction season are
almost here. We can’t afford to lose this opportunity to put
Mainers to work and spur our economy.
can’t let our resources continue to crumble. Our state has the most
highway miles in New England, but they’re funded at the lowest level per
mile. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our roads a grade of
unemployment rates in the construction trades are among the highest in
New England. How many more unemployment checks have to be issued
before the governor releases these voter-approved bonds?
He could do it anytime he wants. It would only take a stroke of his pen.
This is Assistant House Majority Jeff McCabe. Thank you for listening.