Letter: Lawmaker challenged on accomplishment claim

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Let’s be honest, Rep. Anne Graham. On your website and in news releases you’ve been promoting LD 1878, “An Act to Allow Abatement of Property Taxes Due to Hardship,” as your signature legislation in 2012, claiming it relieves property taxes for homes destroyed by “fire.” Maine towns have the sole ability to decide when tax abatements are needed by their property owners. Your ill-conceived proposal removed local decision making when there was fire damage to a building. Your bill was so egregious that it was fought by towns through the Maine Municipal Association, tax assessors, and even town officials in your district. Your bill was rejected by the Committee on Taxation because it reduced local control over property taxes. The version that ultimately passed purged your ideas, removed any reference to the word “fire” and only changed one word in the law. The word “hardship” replaced the word “infirmity,” thus giving more control to municipalities. Thankfully, your bill did not become law.

Lincoln J. Merrill Jr.
Foreclosure Committee
North Yarmouth