30 May Our Voices: May 2023
PLANTING SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE AT OUR SPRING SOCIAL
Garrett Martin, President and CEO of the Maine Center for Economic Policy and Bev Uhlenhake, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party, addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the Sagadahoc Democrats’ Spring Social at the West Bath Seaview Grange on May 7th.
Both speakers underscored that elections–and the resulting policies–matter. Many Maine communities and low-income families have benefited greatly from Medicaid expansion and the state’s fulfillment of its promise to pay 55 percent of school budgets.
But more needs to be done. Paid family leave and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income Mainers are among the top policy priorities for MECEP and Democratic leaders. After the event, Marcy Léger was particularly struck by a comment made by Garrett Martin. Mr. Martin stated that when we talk about taxes as a “tax burden” we are feeding into the right wing belief that taxes represent leftist socialist policy. He gave the example of the “socialist snow plows” – a meme that truly exists on social media.
Sen. Eloise Vitelli and Representatives Allison Hepler, Becky Jauch, and Sean Paulhus joined their fellow Sagadahoc Democrats for the reception and to update constituents about developments at the Maine Legislature. Although Rep. Sally Cluchey and Sheriff Joel Merry were traveling for work, Register of Probate Jean Guzzetti and County Commissioner Carol Grose were able to attend, too.
Before the program began, Sagadahoc Chair Rick Kessler convened a brief business meeting to elect representatives to key committees of the Maine Democratic Party.
Bill Foster, Don Lawson-Stopps, and Abben Maguire were elected to the Platform Committee and Bill Eaton was elected to the Credentials Committee.
Sagadahoc County Democratic Party
How complex and costly is the 2022 Property Tax Stabilization?
Here are some of the issues:
- The bill could cost up to $14 MILLION by 2025.
- There is no guarantee that the State will be able to reimburse the implementation costs to the municipalities.
- With no income requirement, the wealthy benefit the most.
- Once capped, tax bills can’t be adjusted for improvements, additions, or totally new buildings.
- Processing an application can take around 10 minutes – a significant and increasing financial and administrative burden on municipalities.
- Software used by municipalities doesn’t allow for this type of manipulation thereby requiring separate, manual tracking which is prone to errors.
- If left in place, the burden to younger taxpayers will increase substantially
A much better method to help seniors is LD130. It would replace the current Act with:
- An increased homestead exemption for those over 65 to $75,000.
- A program that works with current municipal software.
- No additional administrative and financial burdens on the municipalities.
- A tax burden for the State that is more predictable and sustainable.
Please contact your legislators and encourage them to support LD130 and ask that it be effective as of April 1, 2023. Yes, this year.! By making it effective April 1, 2023, assessors can use the applications already submitted for the current process and avoid the financial and administrative burden of complying with the current law.
New resource for Sagadahoc Democrats
You know those cute little “lending libraries” that have popped up on people’s lawns near you? Well, the Sagadahoc Democrats also have a lending library at our office at 24 Main Street in Topsham. Avid reader Abben Maguire has stocked it chronicles and studies in political courage from his personal collection. Other donors have added more recent releases, including Living History by Hillary Clinton and American Psychosis: A Historical Investigation of How the Republican Party Went Crazy by David Corn. You are welcome to check out books for as long as you’d like, but we do ask you to return them. Browse our titles the next time you are at office.