AUGUSTA – It’s an almost seven billion proposed budget for a state with more than one million people. There are probably as many different opinions about the state budget as there are people in Maine. But just how the governor’s proposal affect the average Mainer?
When it comes to Governor LePage’s proposed budget probably the only thing Sarah Austin and Matt Gagnon agree on is that by the time the budget gets final approval, it will look dramatically different than it does today.
One person believes Governor LePage’s proposal guts the recently approved referendum, which increased taxes on higher incomes to provide additional education funding, while another applauded the effort.
Sarah Austin, Maine Center for Economic Policy said “Working to build back in question two, that increases education funding for communities, relieve pressure on property taxpayers and make sure we’re investing in education.”
Matthew Gagnon, Maine Heritage policy Center, added “If we can do that, without raising the upper income tax bracket like that, I think that is a much better solution for state because it would preserve its economy and potentially make our schools better.”
Which group of Mainers gets the short end of this budget stick? “With the governor’s budget he has proposed massive tax cuts for the top one percent and he’s using those to pay for cuts of really important services.” added Austin.
Gagnon contends smaller government is better government. “Streamlining state government is long overdue thing in the state of maine. Over successive decades the state has grown and grown and grown.” he stated.