Hello, this is Dick Pickett, the
State Representative from Dixfield.
Just last week, the Governor’s
Energy Office announced that the statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating
oil was $2.61 per gallon, the lowest statewide average price since December
This is 8 to 13% lower than last
year at this time.
That is certainly good news to
Mainers dreading the beginning of the 2019/2020 heating season.
Similarly, the recent dip (or any
dip) in gasoline prices is noticed by Maine drivers.
Most of what we buy, produce and
sell is transported by trucks over long distances and from markets.
Maine is a wonderful place to live,
but the cost of heating our homes, transporting goods, traveling long distances
for work and recreation is more expensive than other parts of the country.
That is why legislative Republicans
continue to oppose efforts by Democrats to tax home heating fuel, our propane,
kerosene, diesel, gasoline and other fuels.
When fuel prices go up, money comes
directly out of our pockets.
Last session there were several
proposals to increase these taxes that affect the cost of living for everyone
One bill, in particular, proposed to
levy a seemingly small tax of 1% on the wholesale price of heating oil,
propane, coal, kerosene, and dyed diesel fuel that is intended for residential
or commercial heating purposes.
Nine Democrats introduced that bill
thinking you can afford the increased costs. But, a 1% increase on the
wholesale price is not a small increase by the time it reaches the market.
Putting this type of tax levy on
every heating fuel sold in Maine increases costs for every individual, family
That is because any increase in
cost, to a business, is an increase in prices to the consumer. Complying with
new laws, regulations AND taxes all come with cost increase for you and me.
In Maine, virtually everything moves
by truck. Everything we eat, consume and utilize in daily life travels by
Like other new tax proposals, it
ultimately slows the economy and makes it harder for people to live and work
There were several other attempts
last session, including one to raise the price of oil .40 cents a gallon!
Democrats couldn’t pass LD 434 – An
Act to Price Carbon Pollution in Maine, so they tried to turn it into a “study”
thinking that you wouldn’t notice. The public did notice, and it was defeated.
“Carbon tax” bills place a significant burden on businesses and households and have a disproportionate impact on Maine’s low-income residents.
But the attacks on ratepayers (you
and I) continued with proposals for additional $5-8 million cost every year,
including paying three times more than the current rate for electricity.
Republicans strongly oppose these
relentless efforts by Democrats to increase taxes on what you pay for fuels and
It is amazing to me that Democrats
continually try to increase the cost of everything we eat, consume and utilize
in our daily lives!
As we head into the fall and heating
season, there are programs to assist you if you have difficulty heating your
home. You can reach out to the House Republican Office at 287-1440 and we will
connect you to appropriate departments and agencies.
In the meantime, know that my
Republican colleagues and I worked hard to stop these increases to your fueling
bill and will continue to do so when the legislature reconvenes in January.
Democrats will surely try again to raise your taxes.
We are now living under one-party
rule and Democrats have comfortable majorities in both houses. The only way to
prevent tax increases is for the public to be aware of them and let their
representatives in Augusta know that their constituents oppose them!
Republican economic policies are
increasing helping workers, businesses and families improve their standard of
living. That means everyone, not just narrow identity groups.
Please help us oppose new taxes that
will weaken the economy and hurt families trying to heat their homes or travel
through our large state.
This has been State Representative
Dick Pickett with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
Thank you for listening.
Rep. Dick Pickett, a retired Chief of Police and 22-year veteran of the Maine State Police, is serving his third term representing District 116: Canton, Dixfield, Hartford, Mexico and Peru.