Don’t let the titles deceive you

Senator Paul Davis delivers this week’s Republican Radio Address

By Senator Paul Davis

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a bunch of bad bills making their way through the Legislature. Democrats, it seems, are using their sheer numbers to push through whatever they can. And what they’re doing will just keep putting stress on the household budgets of everyday Mainers.

Sen. Paul Davis – Piscataquis

Hello, I’m Senator Paul Davis of Piscataquis County, and I wish it was my pleasure to bring you this week’s Republican Radio Address. I’ll tell you why.

With gas and oil prices at all-time highs, food up almost 9 percent year-over-year, rent that rose by 15.2 percent nationally in January, and shockingly used cars that are 40 percent higher than a year ago, you’d think Democrats in Augusta would want to give Mainers a break.

Instead, they’re still trying to push through new taxes to grow state government even more.

Take LD 1337, for example, the so-called “Camp Tax” bill. On its surface, the bill’s title mentions the buzz words of “increasing affordable housing” and “reducing property taxes.” Instead, this bill simply wanted to tax vacation homes, camps that have been passed down for generations, second homes and just about any other structure that is not a full-time, primary residence.

Luckily, and with strong Republican opposition, the proposal was defeated.

Pets, dogs and cats apparently aren’t off limits either. Disguised as a fee in LD 1744, this bill essentially taxes pet food by charging the food’s manufacturers additional fees for the privilege to just distribute cat and dog food in the state. Fuel costs are already driving up pet food prices, and that’s if you can even find it. Why pile this on?

But unfortunately, the proposal was supported by the majority in the Maine Senate and has headed to the House of Representatives.

And let’s talk about existing taxes. A House Republican put forward a proposal to temporarily cut the fuel tax and, while all may not have agreed, it was worth at least discussing. But just yesterday, the House Speaker and Senate President did not authorize the proposal to proceed at this time. It appears they don’t even want to talk about reducing taxes at all, almost like it’s evil to just discuss it.

Look, the bottom line is we hear the heartbreaking stories of Mainers every day. From sky-high energy prices and fuel oil to the struggles of just putting food on the table, our residents are hurting and we have to do better.

And that’s where legislators are supposed to be working together in service to the people of Maine. That’s our job; it’s why we’re here – to make life better for our people. But if we still have to battle one party’s efforts to pass new taxes, their efforts to increase existing taxes and even their attempts at delaying or cutting relief payments, it’s apparent they really don’t want you to keep your hard-earned money.

My Caucus colleagues and I have wanted to “Give it back” for months now. Democrats just want to use the surplus money to keep expanding Maine’s government. The choice is yours.

Again, this is Senator Davis of Senate District 4 in Piscataquis County, and I really do hope you have a great weekend. Thank you.

Senator Paul Davis is in his fourth term in the Maine Senate and represents District 4. He is the Senate Republican Lead for the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.

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