Maine Democratic Party respond to New York Times Article about Former Governor Paul LePage

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 6:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Democratic Party is responding to a New York Times report about Former Governor Paul LePage benefiting from a tax break meant for Florida residents. They say what’s worse is that he tried to cut the same tax break here in Maine.

“His cuts to revenue sharing increased property taxes, his cuts to school funding increased property taxes,” Bev Uhlenhake said.

Bev Uhlenhake, Vice President of Maine Democratic Party, said LePage also tried to eliminate the Homestead Exemption act for some Mainers, which provides a reduction of up to $25,000 in the value of a home for property tax purposes.

“That’s the very tax break that he was taking advantage of in Florida. He tried to cut out and eliminate for people 65 and under here in the state of Maine.”

Representative Maureen Terry says she is hurt by this because of the work they do on the taxation committee.

“Trying to keep the cost of property taxes down for permanent residents in the state of Maine is incredibly important, but it is also really important that municipalities have the money that they need to do the jobs that they do,” Terry said.

Meanwhile, Representative Ann Matlack says Governor Mills has worked to reduce property taxes.

“Governor Mills has delivered bipartisan property relief. She has expanded the Homestead Exemption, she has fully funded education, and she has restored revenue sharing to towns to support fire police and other important local services,” Matlack said.

For Uhlenhake, it boils down to values.

“Ii always look at two things when I am voting for someone. Do I think they are smart enough to handle the job, and do I believe in their values. This is one where he has clearly shown his values, and this is not who I want for governor,” she said.

Maine GOP Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas responded saying:

“The last time Democrats cared about taxes this much, they were trying to raise the gas and heating oil tax by 40 cents per gallon -- in fact, one of the ultra-progressive Democrats doing Janet Mills’ dirty work today was a sponsor of that bill, also known as the Sara Gideon gas tax. Senior party leaders, including speakers at this tax event, also explicitly support raising Maine’s gas tax. Let’s be clear: Janet Mills’ top supporters consistently support raising Maine’s gas taxes.”