Rockland City Council votes to oppose cuts to revenue sharing, BETR, circuit breaker...let's see, what else...Tomorrow is the day to testify!
Augusta, Maine — Tomorrow at the State House, I will be joined by the City Manager of Rockland, James Smith, and he will deliver the testimony of the Rockland City Council, plus his concerns as a manager as to what Governor LePage's budget will do to our property taxes. The Governor's budget proposes to completely END revenue sharing- which is sort of a weird term anyway, since we're the ones who shared it with the state in the first place. For the most part, monies that come back to the communities in the form of "revenue sharing" were initially generated in the local communities through things like excise tax on vehicle sales, sales tax, and the like. These monies get paid up to the state per a formula, and then distributed throughout the state per the formula to make it fair for all communities. However, it's a lot of money, and traditionally, it's been the first place to raid- well, that and education. But THIS year, not only could the governor not keep his hand out of the cookie jar, he grabbed the whole jar and ran with it. So it will be up to the legislature to decide how to handle it, and how to juggle, and that's where you come in.
Tomorrow, Appropriations and Financial Affairs will be hearing testimony on the parts of municipal and town budgetary matters that are going to effect property taxes the most- revenue sharing, circuit breaker, the Homestead exemption, and the BETR program, which is something that reimburses the towns for some of the business property tax that heads to the state, sort of like revenue sharing.
The hearing starts at 1pm, and it's going to be a zoo. I'll be ducking out of Marine Resources in order to make sure that Manager Smith is not marooned in the Welcome Center. If any of you would like to quickly forward me a letter, I can certainly make the obligatory 20 copies and get that testimony to the clerk of AFA. It's really important for the committee to know that we have many people who simply can't bear any more property taxes. They need to hear your stories. And we need to keep this cost shift off the property tax payer.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need to call me at the State House, you can call 287-1400 and they will find me. It only takes five minutes to write a quick email and talk about how, say, the circuit breaker program is really important to you, or the Homestead Exemption, or revenue sharing. Thank you, and see you at the grocery store! Or maybe even the State House!