Following is the Weekly Republican Radio Address, delivered by House Republican Leader Rep. Kathleen Dillingham of Oxford.
Hello, I am Kathleen Dillingham, the Maine House Republican Leader from Oxford.
For the past 8 Years,
Republican leadership has improved the lives of Mainers through responsible
fiscal discipline and policies.
By lowering taxes, restraining
the growth of government, lowering debt and improving state finances, we have
improved the budget for families in Maine.
Low unemployment, higher wages
and historically high workforce participation is and should be the new norm.
When voters gave Republicans
the chance to lead Maine in 2010, 70,000 low-income earners were freed from
having to pay state income tax!
So what has happened now that
Democrats control the Governorship, the House and the Senate?
Proposal after proposal has
come forward to tax Maine citizens, our small businesses and our families!
Several proposals to “tax”
home heating fuel, gasoline, diesel, kerosene and propane, will negatively impact
Like most listeners, I need to
heat my home during the winter and travel long distances to and from work.
Anything our family spends on fuel comes directly out of the household budget.
The ruling party in Augusta doesn’t
seem to understand, or doesn’t seem to care, that high fuel prices cost
families twice. Not only does it cost more for fuel, but it will also cost
extra at the register for goods that are manufactured with, then transported by
fuel. When fuel prices are increased, the cost of goods are increased.
Their proposals would make our
businesses even less competitive with the rest of the country.
Virtually everything that we
buy and sell in Maine, moves by truck or rail.
But the desire to tax doesn’t
stop with fuel. Just last week, the legislature heard another bill sponsored by
six Democrats to impose additional taxes on alcohol.
If passed, it will raise taxes on spirits, malt liquor, fortified wines, hard cider, while imposing a higher sales tax on the sale of liquor sold in establishments.
Taxes on malt liquor would increases 43%
Taxes on low-alcohol spirits products & fortified wines would increase 21%
Taxes on wine would increase 67%
Taxes on hard cider would increase 43%
And the sales tax will increase by 2% on all
alcohol sold in bars, restaurants and breweries.
It is disappointing to me that my Democratic
colleagues want to sacrifice our flourishing microbrewery industry, distilleries,
and our growing wineries to feed their unending appetite for growing government
Those growing industries and others that support
them, are creating jobs, opportunity and economic activity. This is especially
true in rural areas where local businesses help bring people together.
Several testified at the hearing that the new
taxes would cost individual breweries anywhere from $18,000 to $47,000 dollars
and raise the price of a beer .65 cents.
In her testimony, the bill sponsor actually said:
“If this increase is a
problem, then you are drinking too much.”
Republicans are working hard to try and kill this
bill in committee, before it gets to the floor.
We are also encouraged that so many citizens and
small businesses have let their voices be heard this session.
You have shown that you can make a difference by
contacting legislators to express your concern over extreme proposals like the
ones I have mentioned and others.
continue to keep the promise of Maine’s future for our children and those
wanting to come to Maine.
This has been State
Representative Kathleen Dillingham with the Weekly Republican Radio
Thank you for listening.
House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham represents District 72: Mechanic Falls, Otisfield and Oxford.