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  • A Better Deal for Maine comes down to lowering property taxes - strong public backing in Scarborough

    By Ramona du Houx

    Scarborough-area residents and community leaders showed strong support for Democrats’ Better Deal for Maine tax reform plan tonight during the second town hall meeting on the proposal.

    Nearly 150 people attended the town hall at Camp Ketcha to learn more about the proposal, which cuts taxes for the middle class, lowers property taxes for all Maine homeowners and invests in Maine schools, workers and communities.

    “We heard strong support for our plan tonight from everyday Mainers who share our concerns about the Governor’s proposal. Our economy lags behind the nation and our tax system is rigged for those at the very top.  Governor LePage has proposed a budget that will make it worse. Our plan will make it better,” said Speaker Eves. “A Better Deal for Maine grows the economy from the middle out. We reject the trickle-down economics that will only widen the gap between the rich and the poor in our state.”

    It could be said the difference in Governor LePage's tax plan and the Democrats proposal boils down to this: LePage's policies will increase everyone's property taxes while the Democrats proposal will decrease property taxes across the board.

    Speaker Eves and Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond announced the Better Deal for Maine plan to counter Governor Paul LePage’s budget. According to a new analysis from the national non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Maine Center on Economic Policy, the Better Deal for Maine would cut taxes, on average, for the bottom 95 percent of Maine taxpayers. It would provide a larger tax break than the Governor’s plan, on average, for the bottom 80 percent of Maine taxpayers.

    “Mainers want a better deal for themselves, a better deal for their communities and a better deal for the economy,” said Senator Alfond, D-Portland. “Our plan ensures more Mainers can keep more of their hard-earned money. It decreases the tax burden on Maine’s working and middle-income earners while asking the wealthy, corporations, and out-of-staters to pay their share.”

    The Better Deal for Maine:

     

    • Puts more money in the pockets of Maine families: Lowers property taxes by $120 million annually for Maine residents by doubling the Homestead Exemption for all Maine homeowners and by increasing the Property Tax Fairness Credit by more than $57 million per year.

    • Invests in Maine's future: Bolsters investment in Maine students, workers and seniors. Increases funding for K-12 education by $20 million per year.

    • Prevents property tax hikes: Increases revenue sharing to $80 million each year for local services like police, fire, and public works, while rejecting the Governor’s new taxes on non-profits.

    • Targets income tax cuts for the middle class: Cuts income taxes by hundreds of dollars for the vast majority of Maine families while asking the wealthiest 5 percent to pay their fair share. Under the Better Deal for Maine, 98 percent of income tax cuts go to the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers. Under the Governor’s plan, 50 percent of the tax break goes to the top 10 percent.

    • Is fiscally responsible: Unlike the Governor’s budget, the Better Deal for Maine is fully paid for now and into the future.

     

    Democratic leaders held their first town hall meeting on the Better Deal for Maine last Wednesday in Bangor with more than 100 people and held a tele-town hall on Thursday with more than 7,000 participants.

     

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    LOCAL AREA SPECIFIC NUMBERS FOR REV SHARING & EDUCATION

     

    Scarborough

     

    • Under the Better Deal, Scarborough will see a 16 percent increase in funding for local schools compared with the Governor’s budget.Under Better Deal,  Scarborough schools get $616,971 more for GPA.  

    • The Governor also plans to eliminate Revenue Sharing, another hit to property taxpayers. Getting rid of Revenue Sharing is a $977,200 million hit to the city of Scarborough

    • Under the Better Deal, the city of Scarborough gets nearly $1 million  more funding for local fire, police and public works

     

    Portland

     

    • Under the Better Deal, Portland will see a 8.8 percent increase in funding for local schools compared with the Governor’s budget. Under Better Deal, Portland schools get $1,322,575 more for GPA

    • The Governor also plans to eliminate Revenue Sharing, another hit to property taxpayers. Getting rid of Revenue Sharing is a $5,078,430 million hit to the city of Portland

    • Under the Better Deal,  the city of Portland gets nearly $5,078,430 more funding for local fire, police and public works

     

    South Portland

     

    • Under the Better Deal,  South Portland will see an increase of 11.9 percent in funding for local schools compared with the Governor’s budget. Under Better Deal,  South Portland schools get $616,491 more for GPA.

    • The Governor also plans to eliminate Revenue Sharing, another hit to property taxpayers. Getting rid of Revenue Sharing is a $1,587,900 million hit to the city of South Portland

    • Under the Better Deal,  the city of South Portland  gets nearly $1,587,900 more funding for local fire, police and public works

     

    Cape Elizabeth

     

    • Under the Better Deal, Cape Elizabeth will see a 9.9 increase in funding for local schools compared with the Governor’s budget. Under Better Deal,  Cape Elizabeth schools get $295,244 more for GPA.

    • The Governor also plans to eliminate Revenue Sharing, another hit to property taxpayers. Getting rid of Revenue Sharing is a $553,191 million hit to the city of Cape Elizabeth

    • Under the Better Deal,  the city of Cape Elizabeth  gets nearly $553,191 more funding for local fire, police and public works

     

    Gorham

     

    • Under the Better Deal, Gorham will see an increase of 1.4 percent in funding for local schools compared with the Governor’s budget.Under Better Deal,  Gorham schools get $248,416 more for GPA.

    • The Governor also plans to eliminate Revenue Sharing, another hit to property taxpayers. Getting rid of Revenue Sharing is a $920,951 million hit to the city of Gorham

    • Under the Better Deal, the city of Gorham gets nearly $920,951 more funding for local fire, police and public works

     

    Westbrook

     

    • Under the Better Deal, Westbrook will see a 2.2 percent increase in funding for local schools compared with the Governor’s budget.Under Better Deal, Westbrook schools get $317,390 more for GPA.  

    • The Governor also plans to eliminate Revenue Sharing, another hit to property taxpayers. Getting rid of Revenue Sharing is a $2.3 million hit to the city of Westbrook

    • Under the Better Deal, the city of Westbrook gets nearly $1.2 million more funding for local fire, police and public works.