Camden Herald letters to the editor April 29

Apr 29, 2021

Assault on property rights

At both the state and local levels, we now have two egregious attempts at overreach in attacks on property rights.

In Rockport, the Board of Selectmen is forging ahead on its wholly unnecessary attack on homeowners who are offering short term rentals (STRs) of their homes to offset heavy property taxes and the cost of home maintenance. Without any demonstrated need, and without any police complaints, they have placed a “non-binding” question 4 on the June ballot, asking if the town should develop confiscatory regulations that would cause some owners to lose their homes. Furthermore, most of the retail business owners in Rockport have signed a letter opposing regulations because STRs are critical to tourism. The answer to this referendum which will pit citizen against citizen must be a resounding “No!”

And now, at the state level, a monstrous bill, (LD 1337), has been introduced which is chilling to the very concept of lawful property ownership. Incredibly, South Portland representative, Christopher Kessler (D), has introduced a bill that would force a surtax on any property that is owned by a non-Maine resident. These owners from away already pay full property taxes for services and infrastructure which they only use for part of the year. They pay full school taxes and have no kids in school. They pay full water and sewer costs for the time they are not here. They make significant contributions to businesses and restaurants, and to top it all off — they can’t vote! This is a blatant tax grab that is Draconian, even for Democrats. This bill would not impact those of us who are permanent residents, but in the name of decency toward our friends from away, do not let them be punished by this mean-spirited legislation. It is certainly not “The way life should be.”

Doc Wallace




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