Just two years ago, there was a referendum put out to Maine voters asking them to approve a 3% tax for families making over $200,000 to help fund education. I was against this tax, as was an overwhelming majority of Yarmouth, for a couple of reasons. From my perspective, the families in this income bracket are the economic drivers of our community. They are the earners that stop at Handy Andy’s on the way to work for their coffee. They’re the folks that stop at Maples and they’re the folks that stop at Rosemont on the way home. And they are also the people that hire people. They are the employers and they own businesses that can leave the state. This is a concern of mine as I’ve heard this from many business owners. I looked at this as not the right way to solve the issue of education funding and said as much. Yarmouth voted against it. If I had been representing Yarmouth at the time, I would have voted against it in Augusta as well. Our representative voted for it.
Fast forward to 2018 and we have a new referendum on the ballot this November. A 3.8% tax on families earning over $128,400 for home health care. I’ve written about this quite a bit on my facebook campaign page, but in short, I am against this as well. My father passed away a year ago and it was brutal. So the idea of home health care and hospice are right there in my consciousness. However this referendum is so fraught with issues - another crushing tax, privacy issues, administrative issues, unionization issues - that I think it should be torn down, revisited with a group of providers from all areas of this industry and started over. Like the previous but failed tax of 2016, my opponent is for this one as well. Her perspective is vote yes for it then fix it later. Why should we vote on one thing then have it change and who is going to “fix” it? This is a bad referendum. All four of our gubernatorial candidates oppose it, which says a lot, but health care and hospice care workers oppose it as well. It should have been vetted through hearings in advance and dealt with in the legislature rather than being put out to voters.
To be clear, unlike my opponent, I strongly oppose this new tax.