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In Maine tomorrow, people will get a chance to support the Maine economy by voting "Yes" on Question 1, a "People's Veto" of a recent change in Maine tax law.

Public Law 629 raised excise taxes on bottled soft drinks, syrups, wine, and beer, among other things. The funds raised by these taxes will go to the DirigoHealth program, which provides coverage for small businesses and individuals in Maine up to 300% of the federal poverty guidelines. Dirigo currently covers 14,000 people in Maine, and the excise tax will increase this to around 18,000.

However, some very-well-funded people, like the beverage distributors, have come out in a full-court press against this increase, and have gotten enough signatures to force a veto attempt onto the ballot tomorrow. They claim to be "fed up with taxes", and protecting Maine jobs, but the result of their endeavors will be taking some $55 million away from Dirigo over the next 3 years.

If you haven't gone to the polls in Maine yet, please vote "No" on Question 1, despite all the advertising pressing you to vote yes.

Thanks. See you in line tomorrow. :-)

Originally posted to SarekOfVulcan on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 11:37 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  got a call yesterday (4+ / 0-)

    "I'm calling from 'fed up with tax...'"
    Cut him off mid-sentence with a stern "I've already voted and I voted NO."

    :)

  •  God forbid (5+ / 0-)

    I pay two extra cents on a beer so some family can have health insurance!

    I'm definitely voting no. I'm embarrassed that such a display of naked greed is even up for a vote in Maine.

  •  Thanks for posting this. I have (3+ / 0-)

    Dirigo Choice. I've had it since it began, and it has enabled me to actually have a usuable health insurance policy. I am self-employed (upholsterer) and my partner works at BIW. He has a GREAT policy, and the fact that we are gay and have been together for 20 years, even though we are registered as domestic partners with the state, means he cannot cover me. General Dynamics, who owns BIW, doesn't provide for that and, as you know, Maine doesn't mandate it except for state workers. So, inequality takes money right out of my pocket - and pisses me off. I have asked and pleaded of everyone I know to vote no on 1. The asswipes pushing yes on 1 would rather everyone's premiums go up due to charity/emergency room care rather than reasonably fund Dirigo Choice.

  •  I will vote No tomorrow. Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME, SarekOfVulcan

    What part of Maine are you in?  We do meetups every now and then.  If you are interested I can add you to my list of emails.  :-)

    Don't Worry. My Gay Marriage Won't Affect Your Straight Divorce!

    by Common Sense Mainer on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 12:02:48 PM PST

  •  At the risk of being castigated . . . (2+ / 0-)

    As laudable as the goal of supporting Dirigo may be, this is just another, extremely regressive, "backdoor" tax put forward as a compromise by state legislators who live in fear of the TABOR folks.  At some point, we need to stop this doing this kind of thing and shift government revenue generation back to depending on progressive income taxes.  What we need in Maine - what every state needs - is an organization as well-funded (and as LOUD) as TABOR to start exploding all these taxation myths and start serious lobbying for replacing regressive taxes with progressive taxes.

    Some folks prefer a map and finding their own route. Others need someone to tell them where to go.

    by sxwarren on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 12:29:19 PM PST

    •  Why is it regressive? (4+ / 0-)

      Obesity is a major problem in this country.
      Obesity increases healthcare costs.
      Soda contributes to obesity.
      More expensive soda = less soda drunk = less obesity = lower healthcare costs in general.

      This is a problem? :-)

      •  It's intrinsically regressive, like a sales tax (2+ / 0-)

        or a flat tax.  Everyone pays the same percentage on the sale whether they have a high or a low income, whether they're wealthy or poor. But the low income consumer pays a much larger percentage of their income.  If two people consume the same amount per year, one making $20k and the other making $200k, the person making $200k pays one tenth as much of their income in tax as the person making $20k.

        Second, like all state-based "sin" taxes, there will be a diminishing return, primarily because folks will buy the product in a state that doesn't charge the tax, NOT because folks are drinking significantly less soda.  It's happening now with the increased cigarette tax - significant revenue shortfalls primarily due to out-of-state (Internet) purchasing.  And, the state's "solution" to this unintended consequence?  Beef up enforcement against out-of-state purchasing at an additional cost.

        Instead of these two taxes, the state could have simply raised the income tax, especially at the top end, by an almost imperceptible fraction of a percentage.  So, WTF?

        Some folks prefer a map and finding their own route. Others need someone to tell them where to go.

        by sxwarren on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 02:54:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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