Printed in the Lewiston Sun Journal – August 14, 2016
Life can be unfair — and it sure isn’t fair right now when it comes to taxes in Maine. Do you know that if you make $40,000 or $1,000,000 you’re taxed at the same rate?
Now, let’s look at how school funding works: The state and the voters made a promise to fund education at 55 percent. The state hasn’t met this promise so the burden got shifted to the towns and the cities. The only way they could try to close the gap is through property taxes. Wealthy towns could do it; less affluent towns couldn’t. The losers in this “give breaks to the wealthy” mentality are students.
Most towns and cities can’t afford to increase property taxes to make up for the gap created by empty promises. So, while the gap grows, Augusta keeps giving a tax break to the wealthiest 2 percent.
Question 2 asks them to pay their fair share on behalf of students all across the state. Question 2 puts $157 million back into public education. If Question 2 passes, the wealthiest Mainers will be paying a bit more — 3 percent on every $1,000 over $200,000. That’s $30 on $1,000.
Auburn, for example, will receive $2,784,294 and Lewiston, $3,154,086. That money can only be used for direct classroom instruction, including teachers, school nurses and other critical public school personnel. Not for testing or administrators. The money goes directly into classrooms, where it will do the most good.
I hope others will join with me and vote “yes” on Question 2 on Nov. 8
Carl Bucciantini, Greene