Don’t divert excise taxes from towns

At this session of the Legislature, a bill – LD 1226 — is being introduced that concerns the excise tax from towns going to the state for roads and infrastructure. The main part of the bill states that all excise tax on vehicles over 26,000 pounds will go to the state, which will take money away from the town.

The remainder of the excise tax revenue will have to go to town roads. For the town of Winn, with a population of about 400, our excise tax revenue has been allocated for roads, assessing and transfer station operations. We would have to increase our tax rate to cover this loss of revenues which creates a greater hardship on the taxpayers. While we all want and like good roads, this is not the way to go.

We encourage other towns to contact their representatives and voice their opposition to this bill.

Priscilla Mallory

Gordon Pratt

Gary Haynes

Selectmen

Winn

Walk away from the Korea problem

I am so tired of the North Korea issue. I was in South Korea at three different times for 13 months each tour and the shadow of the North was always evident. Governments have tried to maintain a working and amicable relationship with the Kim family to no avail.

The time has come to wipe our hands of this issue. The U.S. needs to convene a meeting with all the concerned parties, and the U.S. needs to openly declare that there is no intention to attack the North, as they have nothing that would enhance any country’s position. There are no resources in the hermit nation that are worth the cost of a conflict.

They must also be made to understand that any aggression on their part toward the South, Japan or the U.S. will be met with overwhelming force. These statements are to be understood by China as no threat to the government, its border or the Chinese people.

Once these items have been made clear, the U.S. should walk away from the table and leave the issue to China, never to be addressed again by the United States. Enough is enough.

Wayne LeVasseur

Bangor

Sessions’ slur against Hawaii

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III last week referred to the federal judge in Hawaii who ruled against President Donald Trump’s travel ban as a “ judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.” Then when asked on Sunday why he didn’t just call it the state of Hawaii, he stated “ nobody has a sense of humor anymore.”

Well, there is a fine line between humor and a slur when language is intended to invalidate and demean.

This was indeed a slur. What would Sessions think if someone humorously referred to him as a seditionist? The federal judge to whom he refer is as qualified for his job as Sessions is for his.

William Skinner

Bangor

Retiree income tax change

All retirees and their supporters in Maine should contact the members of the Maine Legislature’s Appropriations Committee as soon as possible. They will be deciding soon whether to support a proposed change to the amount being deducted by Maine for state income taxation of retirees.

Presently, retirees have $15,000 deducted from taxation. This would instead become $35,000. The increase would be $5,000 a year over five years. The change is therefore gradual and does not impact immediately Maine’s tax system.

Many people are choosing not to retire in Maine because they can live elsewhere and avoid paying Maine’s income tax. Or they do not make Maine their permanent residence and instead live six months and one day in Florida or some other state. They are then able to avoid paying the Maine income tax.

Contact the members of the committee and ask them to support this proposed change to the amount deducted from all retirees’ pensions for state taxation. This is a nonpartisan issue, and all legislators should therefore support it for their constituents. They would be helping many people now and in the future. Gov. Paul LePage is already supportive of this proposed change and would not veto it once it gets to his desk. It could become law and go into effect in 2018.

Karen E. Holmes

Cooper