Monday, June 7, 2010

Please Vote on June 8: Yes on Question 1

A message from MAR Counsel Linda Gifford. Here is our rationale. Please vote.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vote YES on Question 1: Our Rebuttal to Sun Journal Editors

Our Rebuttal sent to Sun Journal editors and additional thoughts on what they also failed to note:

The Editorial Board of the Sun Journal apparently didn't do their homework when crafting biased commentary about our television ads. The Maine Association of REALTORS was not contacted for comment, and if, as journalists [the Sun Journal editors] were interested to know the purpose for any statement in our ads, it should occur to them to ask. There is significant misinformation and missing information in their analysis.

The Maine Revenue Services confirmed to the Yes on One/Yes to Reject Coalition, "In 2013, the net tax cut is estimated to be $32.3 million. The top 1% of Maine households get a $23.2 million net tax cut. The remaining net reduction of $9 million is spread across the rest of the tax families."

While we recognize the proponents keep claiming this distribution is "proportional,” it is accurate to include the main benefit of the total net tax cut is to the wealthy (top 1%). Had the Sun Journal provided the total amount of the total net tax cuts to the top 1% and then the other 99%, it might give a true picture to their readers.

The analysis also fails to include our concern about limiting (for some) and removing (for others) the value of the itemized mortgage interest deduction, which is a key reason we are involved. While our full talking points are at, here’s one purpose:

MAR opposes the Legislature’s tax reform package because it modifies the common definition of “residency” to deny the household credit for one year to people who have moved or returned to Maine. This directly affects the mortgage interest deduction because those who relocate to Maine for a job, or who return to Maine after moving away, cannot have any state tax deductions or the new limited credits upon relocation. Often relocating workers will purchase a home during their first year in Maine and the Legislature has insured that they will not receive any itemized deductions or credits during the very time in which they will pay the largest amount of interest on many types of mortgages. This “Welcome Back Tax” is very bad for Maine jobs and real estate and will likely face a constitutional challenge should the repeal effort fail.

Separately, our opponents are running ads that are distortions of the truth - there is no proposal to raise income tax (or rates) by 30% for all Maine families from what they're presently paying. A Yes Vote to Repeal keeps it the same and tells our legislators to think again.

Our message remains: VOTE YES ON QUESTION 1

New notes to Sun Journal Editors:

1. You FAIL to note that the YES on ONE position is supported by NUMEROUS organizations in Maine that also denounce this so-called tax reform measure. Those INCLUDE the Maine Tourism Association, Maine Restaurant Association, Maine Merchants Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Maine Snowmobile Association; and several Chambers of Commerce supporting YES on One – including the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce, Caribou Chamber of Commerce, Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce. Any reason you are trying to portray this as a single industry issue (real estate) and not that MOST Maine industries are telling the public to REJECT this bad proposal?

2. You FAIL to note that the main source of funding for all of the TV commercials in support of the No position are hedge fudge managers, venture capitalists, tycoons and other wealthy individuals. Any reason you're not questioning why Maine small businesses want REPEAL (YES position), but Wall Street and the wealthy want “tax reform”? This tax reform is absolutely NOT about the little guy in Maine. Maine’s small business population is urging REPEAL of this bad proposal - and URGING the public to VOTE Yes on Question One.

Our message remains: VOTE YES ON QUESTION 1 - To Reject Over 100 New Taxes

See some of our Save the Mortgage Interest Deduction videos and commercials on YouTube.