August 03, 2020

Reform or relief?

The octopus in Augusta is reaching out with its tentacles to strip local control from the taxpayer. First it was school consolidation; now it is jail consolidation. Every measure the state proposes always seems to take our local control and shift it to state control. Who do you think listens to us more: our local selectmen and school boards, or a bureaucrat in Augusta?

I attended a school consolidation meeting, and it was mentioned that to set up a regional school district would cost the town something initially, but we would save money overall. Sound familiar?

This sounds like an unfunded mandate to me, especially since there are penalties if we vote not to play their game. Remember the deregulation of electricity was going to save us money in the long run and give us relief from high utility costs? Have you looked at your utility bill lately?

The governor said he heard our cry for tax “relief” and the Legislature said they are going to tackle tax “reform.” I believe that the word “relief” means to lessen or reduce, while “reform” means to change. I don’t see why the state government thinks that they mean the same thing.

I also see that a law, which takes effect on Sept. 21, requires anyone placing an ad to sell a puppy or kitten has to get a permit from the state first. This is not tax “relief” but an example of tax “reform” by cost shifting.

Daniel Sullivan


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