Letter: Make yourself heard on 3% income surtax

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State Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, has a chance to improve Maine’s economy and also support K-12 education. When voters cast their ballots last November, a very slim majority passed a 3 percent surtax on personal income above $200,000 to raise salaries and benefits for teachers. What very few voters understood was that the new tax would fall on the shoulders of Maine’s small business owners. Of the 16,000 tax filers that have income above $200,000 in Maine, 11,000 are small businesses that file taxes as personal income. Voters saw a chance to put more money into education. I do not believe they wanted to stick it to Maine employers.

Let’s look at some towns that voted against the tax in the Forecaster circulation area: Yarmouth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gray and North Yarmouth all opposed the surtax. These are the communities represented by Sen. Breen, who earned a seat on the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee. This committee will likely decide whether to repeal the 3 percent surtax and find a more equitable source of education funding elsewhere. I hope readers in Sen. Breen’s District 25 will respectfully share their thoughts with her this week. Her leadership is essential to funding education without micro-taxing the family businesses of Maine. So, what do you think and what are you going to do about it?

Tony Payne