Talk about #FakeNews! The Maine Democrat Party is currently conducting what is likely the most dishonest “road show” the state of Maine has seen since the days of traveling snake oil salesman.
Liberal Democrats, unwilling to actually work on a real tax cut, instead have chosen to embark on a tour to claim they are going to cut Mainers' property taxes.
From one end of the state to the other, they are setting up shop in towns and cities, and making the claim that they are proposing the largest property tax cut in Maine history. Sadly, the press is covering their claims as if it is the truth.
But the truth is simply the opposite – they can't, and they won't, cut property taxes.
They have literally no control over local property tax rates. None.
Your property tax mil rate is set by your town or city. Claiming that they are working to cut your property taxes is a falsehood that can be proven without any trouble at all.
Shame on Democrats for making this claim.
What they are actually proposing to do is to subsidize local government spending in the hope that your property taxes will go down in the future. But, as history has shown, it doesn't work like that.
What happens is that state spending actually rises to provide the subsidy, then most local governments spend the money and don't cut property tax rates one penny. In fact, increasing the subsidy is actually correlated with increases in local property taxes – the opposite of what Democrats are telling you!
The Maine Heritage Policy Center showed the correlation in a 2015 report that you can read here: https://www.scribd.com/document/261721109/Revenue-Sharing-Report
It is really no surprise that increasingly subsidizing something gives us more of it, not less.
So what Democrats are really proposing to do, based on actual history of revenue sharing and property tax rates, is spend more of your money at the state level, which will lead to more spending at the local level. Then you get to pay for it both ways.
At the same time Democrats are conducting their 'road show' pretending they want to cut the one tax they can't cut – they are proposing tax increases or opposing tax cuts on every tax they can legally change. That's a story we will be bringing you on another day.
The most important point here is that Democrats are on a tour claiming they are going to do something they can't do – cut property taxes – while back in Augusta they are eagerly trying to raise any other tax they can get their hands on.
It's a classic bait and switch folks.
If a Democrat Legislator or operative tells you otherwise, ask them to show you in their proposal where they they lower mil rates on the property in your town. Ask them.
Don't accept the argument that they are increasing a subsidy – make them show you their proposal for your reduced mil rate, or even the law that keeps it from rising.
Ask them how they can legally cut local property taxes.
And when they admit they can't, then ask them for proof that more revenue sharing leads to property tax cuts, not just increased spending. Let's see what they say.
If Democrats were serious, they'd be proposing the elimination of unfunded mandates to Maine municipalities, and tying any increase in revenue sharing to control or reduction of mil rates.
But they're not, because this is just a political talking point, not a serious proposal.
- Jason Savage, Executive Director
Maine Democrats' false claims on “property tax cut”:
WABI: Democrats Unveil Budget Plan Calling for Largest Property Tax Cut in Maine History #FakeNews
Press Herald: Our View: Property tax cut keeps money in the right place #FakeNews
Maine Senate Democrats: Dems take Opportunity Agenda on the Road – Lawmakers to tour Maine for budget that cuts property taxes, fully funds schools and invests in communities, families and jobs #FakeNews
Sun Journal: Democrats counterpunch Gov. LePage by rolling out alternative budget – In a prepared statement, the Democrats said their budget priorities include cutting property taxes... #FakeNews