AMG Collects Post-Election Promises to Reform Taxes

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AMG Collects Post-Election Promises to Reform Taxes

[i]Editor's Note: Now is a good time to collect in one place the several quotes from politicians/press assuring us, post-TABOR, that they "get it," that NOW they'll make sure Maine gets tax relief. Let's keep the quotes accurate, brief, to the point, please. Also, I'll keep this thread a "Sticky" for awhile then move it to the archives where any registered AMGer can get to it.[/i]

It wasn't mudslinging that got voters to the polls

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
Thursday, November 09, 2006

by Jim Brunelle

"The first order of business has to be property tax relief," said Baldacci. [H]e apparently gets the message.

He's right. But it can't stop there. The governor/Legislature are under a huge moral obligation to seriously tackle the whole broad question of tax reform.

The chief objective[:] guarantee...fairness/efficiency, mak[ing] sure...taxes [do] not fall disproportionately on those least able to bear...it [while] provid[ing] adequate revenues to support vital public services.

[url=http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/view/columns/3310494.html]source[/...

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Baldacci to 'nail property tax'

Thursday, November 9, 2006

By A.J. Higgins
Bangor Daily News

Baldacci: "We have to nail this property tax stuff...the first order of business. We’ll...refine [LD 2], make it...a property tax package.., have the Legislature deal with that first... Its centerpiece will be freezing...valuation on permanent Maine residents to provide permanent relief.

"We need to change the Constitution...freeze...property values for permanent residents — not seasonal/vacation/second home[s]..." "I want...a constitutional amendment...in June and have [Maine] vote on it.”

[url=http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/statewide.aspx?articleid=142852&zoneid...

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After TABOR
Thursday, November 09, 2006 - Bangor Daily News

The tax burden here has remained high despite decades of political promises to act on it...

[T]he Baldacci administration...must do more to explain how its long-term plans to lower taxes would work and how it will achieve its goals while funding essential services.

Maine has the desire for tax reduction and reform and it has the tools. It awaits the leadership to put these two in their proper order and get Maine moving.

[url=http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/viewpoints.aspx?articleid=142823&zonei...

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Governor wants campaign behind him; eyes taxes, Dirigo

By Glenn Adams, Associated Press Writer | November 8, 2006

Baldacci, interviewed in his State House office Wednesday morning, said that even though a government spending limit proposal lost, property tax reform is his first priority for 2007.

[url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/articles/2006/11/08/governor_want...

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AMG Collects Post-Election Promises to Reform Taxes

[url=http://www.theforecaster.net/story.php?storyid=8409]brautigam[/url]
House District 113, part of Portland and Falmouth

[quote]The state’s tax system will remain a top priority for him when the Legislature reconvenes, Brautigam said.
“I think it would be wise for the new Legislature to listen to the voice of the people who are frustrated with the tax situation, an ongoing frustration” he said. “We need to hear and respond to it even though TABOR did not pass.”
[/quote]

Also Forecaster:

District 114 Portland, Marley
[quote]Marley said the top issue this year, even with a defeated TABOR, was taxes. “I hope the new Legislature takes that and has been educated in the process. We do need tax reform. We don’t want people forced out of their homes.”
[/quote]

District 128 Scarborough, Pendleton
[quote]Admitting her 21-vote win was “not a mandate,” Pendleton said she is looking forward to a lot of hard work. With the message of TABOR ringing in lawmakers’ ears, she said she expects to have serious discussions about ways to cut government spending.
[/quote]

District 122, south portland, Bliss
[quote]“Tops on my list clearly is tax reform,” Bliss said. “We have heard the people loud and clear.” [/quote]

District 124 South Portland, Kaenrath
[quote]Kaenrath said the issues of affordable health care and tax relief will be his priority, [/quote]

Senate 6 gorham, Bartlett
[quote]I’m hoping we can make tax reform a real priority, working with the governor,” he said. “I’d like to make a commitment for the Legislature to not go home until a comprehensive tax reform proposal is passed.”
[/quote]

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Boston.com
The Associated Press
TABOR outcome not a vote for the status quo

By Clarke Canfield, Associated Press Writer | November 8, 2006

If the Legislature doesn't address high taxes and government spending, there could well be another citizen initiative on the ballot two years from now calling for tax or spending reforms, political observers said:

* Marv Druker, political science professor, USM's Lewiston-Auburn College.

* Sandy Maisel, director of Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, Colby College.

[V]oters didn't ...vote for the status quo," Baldacci said.

House Speaker John Richardson said legislators have also heard the message.

[url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/articles/2006/11/08/tabor_outcome...

Ray Richardson
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Geoff Herman, MMA:

"We have been working on tax reform for twenty years."

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seacoastonline.com

11-10-2006
Voters turn down TABOR initiative

By staff and wire reports

PORTLAND, Maine -- Larry Benoit of Citizens United, the anti-TABOR coalition, said Mainers want tax relief but have come to realize that TABOR is "fundamentally flawed."

[url=http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/11082006/mainenews-ph-elex-me-tabor.h...

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Bar Harbor Times
Editorial

Tax reform still top priority

(Created: Thursday, November 9, 2006 8:43 AM EST)

[W]hile TABOR is...a thing of the past, the closeness of Tuesday’s vote can not be dismissed.

Clearly, Mainers are increasingly disgruntled with the [way] government spends their money. [U]nless action is taken, ...[other] tax initiative[s] will arise...and...one...[will] pass.

Lawmakers need to...do the job they were elected to. No more band-aid solutions, no ignoring the problem...hoping it will go away, no smoke/mirrors tactics...accomplish[ing] nothing:

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/10/bar_harbor_times/letter...

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Capital Weekly

The voters have spoken

(Created: Thursday, November 9, 2006 10:13 AM EST)

It looks like Mainers have somewhat reluctantly given Baldacci a second chance, so we hope the governor...helps move the state forward. We especially want...some cooperative, hard work...by the governor/Legislature on the state’s tax burden.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights was defeated, but those who support it are not going away anytime soon. [T]hat tells us that elected officials must get their act together and do something about the state’s tax problem.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/11/capital_weekly/letters_...

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Courier Gazette

Miller retains District 52 seat

(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 12:59 PM EST)

SOMERVILLE — Incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Miller was re-elected to represent House District 52 by a wide margin. She earned 547 more votes than Republican William McKeen.

Miller said that in the next two years, she will focus on economic development for small towns, control of health care costs and comprehensive tax reform.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/08/courier_-_gazette/local...

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[i]Editor's Note: This district did NOT elect the candidate who was running as a property tax reformer.[/i]

Pieh wins District 50 seat
By Art Mayers
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 12:59 PM EST)

BREMEN — Former District 56 representative Wendy Pieh, D-Bremen, will return as a representative in the reformed District 50, having defeated former Bath Iron Works welder and lobsterman Art Tainter, R-Waldoboro. The vote was 2,061 to 1,858.

Tainter campaigned to reduce the property tax burden.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/08/courier_-_gazette/local...

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Courier Gazette

Dow regains District 20 seat
By Art Mayers
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 12:59 PM EST)

WALDOBORO — Incumbent Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, swept to a clear victory Tuesday over Democratic political newcomer Kathleen King, D-Walpole, in the District 20 race. The district includes all of Lincoln County and Washington, Friendship and Windsor.

Dow, who emphasized economic development in his campaign, said he hoped the state would implement gradual changes in the tax structure that would result in the lowering of the property-tax burden.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/08/courier_-_gazette/local...

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"The thought of every citizen voting on what fees and taxes they want to pay is poor policy"

Geoff Herman, MMA

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Courier Gazette

Pingree grabs third term
By Amy Lea
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 12:59 PM EST)

NORTH HAVEN — Incumbent Democratic candidate Hannah Pingree was elected for a third term to represent House District 36. She defeated her opponent, Republican candidate Seth Joy, by a wide margin, 2,920 to 1,346.

During the next two years, Pingree said she looks forward to focusing on a number of different items, including the need for tax reform in Maine....

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/08/courier_-_gazette/local...

_____

Pingree elected to House leadership post
By Stephen Betts
(Created: Saturday, November 18, 2006 6:56 PM EST)

AUGUSTA — State Rep. Hannah Pingree...was elected by her Democratic House colleagues Wednesday as majority leader — the second highest position in the House other than the House Speaker.

Pingree said her goals for the next two years will be to work for property tax relief, lowering the income tax and making health care more accessible and affordable.

"It's exciting. It's nice to feel people put their trust in you," she said.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/18/courier_-_gazette/local...

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[i]Editor’s Note: Another HD where voters did NOT elect the candidate who campaigned on reducing taxes.[/i]

Courier Gazette

Mazurek wins in landslide
By Stephen Betts
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 7:46 PM EST)

ROCKLAND — Democratic Rep. Edward Mazurek handily won the battle of former mayors in the race for Maine House District 47.

Mazurek won a second term with a 2,130 to 1,016 tally over Republican challenger James Raye.

Raye, who also served as mayor twice in Rockland had based his campaign on the need to reduce state government spending, reduce taxes and lower health insurance costs by opening up competition.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/08/courier_-_gazette/local...

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Courier Gazette: Editorial

Work on issues

(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 1:42 PM EST)

[V]oters have spoken.... [I]t’s time for the governor/Legislature to...address...issues [of] greatest concern to residents: taxes/health insurance.

Baldacci promised to offer a constitutional amendment [to] cap...values of people’s primary residences to no more than the rate of inflation.

The governor needs to follow through on his promise.

The Legislature needs to control spending.

The defeat of TABOR is the state’s last opportunity to enact real tax relief.... Voters will not forget.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/12/courier_-_gazette/lette...

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Republican Journal

Giles unseats Ash in House race

(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 8:45 AM EST)

HOUSE DISTRICT 43 — Incumbent Democratic State Rep. Walter Ash was defeated Tuesday by Republican Jayne Crosby Giles in a tight race...with totals of 2,065 for Giles and 2,043 for Ash.

Giles focused her campaign on taxes, the economy and business and said she planned to vote in favor of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), which was designed to limit state and local government spending. Ash opposed TABOR, preferring an overhaul of the tax structure to widen the base of the sales tax.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/12/republican_journal/loca...

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[i]Editor's Note: Another HD where the tax reduction candidate lost.[/i]

Republican Journal

Weddell looks to be likely victor in District 41 race
Prospect’s vote tally an unknown

By Steve Fuller
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 8:45 AM EST)

During the campaign, Weddell argued in favor of the state’s Dirigo Health initiative and against the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) referendum. Lindell, on the other hand, said he supported TABOR and felt the Dirigo plan needs to be opened up to competition to better serve the citizens of Maine.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/12/republican_journal/loca...

_____

Waldo Independent

I’ll Work Hard

(Created: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 4:13 PM EST)

Dear Independent:

I want to thank the voters of District 41 for granting me the privilege of serving them in the House of Representatives.

The two greatest concerns expressed across party lines were healthcare reform and property tax relief. These two issues will be central to my work in Augusta.

Once again, thank you.

Rep.-elect Lance Weddell
District 41
Frankfort

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/23/waldo_independent/lette...

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Republican Journal

Weston beats Chase for 3rd senate term
By Jane Andrews
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 8:45 AM EST)

SENATE DISTRICT 23 — Incumbent Republican Carol Weston won a third term in the state senate Tuesday, beating back a challenge by Democrat Gail Chase.

Weston, who supported the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), campaigned on her record of voting to lower taxes, provide quality education, reduce health insurance costs, target funds to those most in need and improve the business climate for better paying jobs.

Chase opposed TABOR....

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/12/republican_journal/loca...

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Republican Journal

Incumbent Rep. Piotti wins re-election over Harmon
By Jane Andrews
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 1:55 AM EST)

HOUSE DISTRICT 45 —Incumbent Democratic State Rep. John Piotti beat Republican challenger R. Ryan Harmon in the HD 45 race Tuesday....

During the campaign, Piotti promised to work for property tax reform....

He opposed the taxpayer bill of rights (TABOR), and said it would make it more difficult to shift the tax burden and invest in the future.

Harmon had several proposals to address Maine’s high tax burden with controlled spending as his “number one budget buster.”

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/12/republican_journal/loca...

-----

Republican Journal

Piotti expresses thanks

(Created: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 9:08 AM EST)

My biggest frustration has been the Legislature’s failure to enact meaningful tax reform. I worked hard with Senator Peter Mills and others in a bi-partisan tax reform group that offered some promising ideas, none of which have yet been approved. We’ll continue to try.

Tax reform has been, and will remain, my No. 1 priority.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/01/republican_journal/lett...

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Republican Journal

Thibodeau tops Gilbert in House District 42
Republican wins big in Winterport
By Steve Fuller
(Created: Wednesday, November 8, 2006 8:40 AM EST)

WINTERPORT — Republican Mike Thibodeau bested Democrat Donna Gilbert in the House District 42 race Tuesday, by a tally of 1,940 to 1,651 in the six-town district.

During the campaign...Thibodeau...argued the state’s Dirigo Health plan has been a “colossal failure,” and said competition is needed to bring health insurance rates down.

Thibodeau also said...he would like to see state government expand the tax base rather than taxes themselves.

[url=http://www.mainecoastnow.com/articles/2006/11/12/republican_journal/loca...

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TABOR defeat belies tax anger

By PAUL CARRIER, Staff Writer
November 12, 2006

AUGUSTA - Maine voters rejected [TABOR], but the margins...were close enough across the state to show voters clearly want Gov. Baldacci/Legislature to rein in high taxes....

Political scientists note many voters who opposed TABOR are as angry about high taxes as those who supported it.

Oliver Woshinsky, professor emeritus, USM: "There's no question Maine is one of the higher-taxed states" and voters made it clear they want that to change, whether they backed TABOR or not.

[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/061112tabor.html]source[/url]

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MANP letter of commitment

[quote]As Mark Gray of the Maine Education Association so eloquently put it at the "No On One" celebration, we are tired of working this hard to protect the status quo. Status quo is not our ideal vision, and [b]we are committed to working as hard to bring real tax reform and responsible economic development to Maine as we worked to defeat TABOR.[/b][/quote]

I have no doubt they do not intend to protect the status quo; now that they have won, they will work their fannies off to see that the status quo evolves to an even more onerous burden on taxpayers and the economy.

"It is their nature."

[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/viewpoints/letters/daysago.shtml]Maine Association of Nonprofits...always a taxpayer's friend[/url]

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AND THEY CALL THEMSELVES "PROGRESSIVES"???

The rhetoric is to make sure the wealthy "pay their fair share"....no doubt they do in spades under Maine's heinous and confiscatory tax system (not to mention the Democrats will be proposing).

The reality is that the Democrats have devised the most REGRESSIVE tax system possible. I am sure those with access to the facts (Bill Becker and the MHPC folks) can prove easily that Maine's system is one of the most regressive in the country.

The TOP tax rate of 8.5% kicks in at a very low level, where one is eligible for welfare, food stamps, MaineCare and a host of other benefits. Add to that the REGRESSIVE Sales Tax, Gasoline Tax, Property Tax, Cigarette Tax and a host of other fees and levies.

So, bravo Editor! Lets keep track of how often they say they will give us "relief"......and then tell us we need to "invest more" in our government. The rhetoric has a tough time matching reality!

So the next time a Liberal says he or she is "PROGRESSIVE" at a cocktail party.....correct them. I do with great relish by listing the reality of what their party has imposed on average and even low wage working people. They are REGRESSIVES!

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AMG Collects Post-Election Promises to Reform Taxes

[url=http://www.maine.gov/legis/housedems/news/dems%20sweep%20house.htm]From House Dems website:[/url]

[b]Democrats pick up sweeping victories in the Maine House of Representatives
November 8, 2006[/b]

Cummings points to the high number of defeated Republican incumbents as a clear indication that Maine Republicans’ efforts to block key proposals to repair Maine roads and create jobs, and their opposition to [b]Democratic efforts to target tax relief to the middle class[/b], did not go unnoticed by Maine voters.

The 123rd Legislature will convene in January. According to Cummings, [b]Democrats are already getting to work on their plans to focus on tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses[/b], to continue to drive down the cost of health care, and to make college more affordable in an effort to give every Mainer an opportunity to succeed.

[i][color=blue][b]Oh, and for another thread, but this one is rich:[/b][/color][/i]

“...we will also be looking closely at how best to protect the heritage of our state by strengthening our communities, [b]fighting sprawl[/b], and [b]protecting access[/b] to clean woods and healthy waters for future generations.”

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AMG Collects Post-Election Promises to Reform Taxes

[quote]With his second and final term set to begin in January, Gov. John Baldacci is promising to place tax relief on the front burner in the next legislative session,[/quote]

[quote]"The first thing is, we have to get the job done" on tax relief, Baldacci said. [/quote]

[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/061119baldacci.html]Baldacci lays out second term deceptions[/url]

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Portsmouth Herald

11-19-2006

TABOR vote means it's time for a change

No one...should be lulled into believing the defeat of [TABOR] signals business as usual. It...does not.

250,000 Mainers cast their ballot in favor of TABOR...

Maine is in trouble [with] the highest per capita income tax.... State spending outpaces revenues. Property taxes...are extraordinarily high. Health care costs...out of sight. [W]e are held hostage to a handful of carriers."

We will be watching. The voters of Maine will be watching.

[url=http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/11132006/opinionletters-p-ltr-edit-ta...

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LSJ
Cummings gets Democratic nod for speaker's job

By David Farmer , Staff Writer
Thursday, November 16, 2006

AUGUSTA - House Democrats stuck with one of the horses that pulled them through this year's election season Wednesday, nominating Portland Rep. Glenn Cummings as the next speaker of the House.

Cummings also laid out his hopes for the 123rd Legislature.

Priorities include tax reform....

"We should not confuse, in this room, any no vote for (the Taxpayer Bill of Rights) as satisfaction with the status quo," Cummings said after proposing a special committee on tax reform.

[url=http://www.sunjournal.com/story/185586-3/MaineNews/Cummings_gets_Democra...

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Ellsworth American

After TABOR, the Problem Remains
Thursday, November 16, 2006

[T]hose who...opposed TABOR would do well to recognize the need for tax reform in Maine has not gone away. [A]long with the 46 percent of voters who supported the measure, many others...are deeply concerned over Maine’s high tax burden.

Baldacci...announced...property tax relief would be his top priority.... House Majority Leader Glenn Cummings said...Democrats...are working on a plan focusing on tax cuts for the middle class/small business.

[url=http://ellsworthmaine.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id...

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biddefordsacooobcourier.com

Incumbents keep seats in Saco, discuss goals
11/16/06

By Molly Lovell
Staff Writer

Rep. Linda Valentino: “The general feeling...was...the first thing to do...in session is...look at property tax relief immediately.”

Valentino was “grateful” TABOR did not pass, but...the message that...relief is needed was heard “loud and clear.”

Representative George Hogan...said [tax relief] will be his first priority. “There will be some real movement on tax reform, I’m sure about that,” he said.

http://www.biddefordsacooobcourier.com/news5.html

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