(UPDATED) ME Gov LePage, Still Refusing to Meet With Dem Majority Leaders, Sends Out Video Response Addressing Stance on Tax Cuts
4:45pm Update: Senate President Justin Alfond responded moments ago, via press release:
SENATE PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO VIDEO COMMUNICATION FROM GOVERNOR
Alfond says, “We cannot place politics ahead of serving the people of Maine.”
AUGUSTA— Senate President Justin Alfond sent out the following statement in response to a video communication from Governor Paul LePage. In the video, LePage was interviewed by his Communications Director discussing his ideology on Maine tax policy. The video was also circulated by the Committee to Re-Elect Governor Paul LePage. In the interview, LePage and his Communications Director distorted Democratic lawmakers’ position on Maine tax policy.
“We cannot place politics ahead of our responsibility to serve the people of Maine. We have been clear about wanting to work with the Governor and the Republicans. It continues to be our hope that we can start talking from a place where we have common ground,” said President Alfond of Portland. “Unfortunately, the Governor has not returned our requests to meet and discuss the state’s business. We hope in the days that follow that we can sit down with the Governor and engage in a thoughtful conversation about how to move Maine forward.”
LePage has declined all attempts to meet with Democratic leadership barring one scheduled meeting that was later cancelled by the Governor. The Legislature convenes on January 8th.
The accompanying press release:
- Governor LePage Releases Video Discussing Tax Cuts
AUGUSTA– Governor Paul R. LePage speaks out about Maine’s recent tax cuts, the largest tax cuts in State history, in a new video released by the Office of the Governor. In the five minute video, the Governor shares with Mainers facts about the various tax reductions passed during the 125th Legislature that will benefit hundreds of thousands of families and businesses throughout the State.
The Governor explained that the tax cuts, which were supported by two-thirds of the Legislature, will benefit Mainers of all income levels, “70,000 Mainers with the lowest incomes will not have to pay taxes in the new year. This represents the largest tax cut in Maine history. For Democrats to call this a tax cut for the rich is simply not true.”
He notes that more than 450,000 taxpayers will see a cut in their taxes in 2013. Taxes charged on meals in retirement homes were also eliminated. “Again, no tax cut for the rich there, just common sense reform that takes a tax burden off some of our most vulnerable Mainers,” Governor LePage noted.
In the video, the Governor explains how giving businesses targeted tax breaks can in turn stimulate the economy by allowing businesses to invest that money somewhere else, “perhaps on an expansion, new jobs or higher wages.” He asks viewers to consider the concept that “Investment capital goes where it is welcomed, and stays where it is appreciated,” advocating that Maine make structural changes that improve the state’s business climate.
It should be noted that the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee meets tomorrow, 4 days before the 126th Legislature’s first session, to take up the Governor’s recently released $35 million dollar curtailment order, among other business.