Mainers Pledge Responsible Wealth for a Responsible Solution

Speakers assert that fairness demands that they pay their fair share in state taxes
Augusta, Maine (Thursday, February 9, 2012) The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) today hosted a press conference with Mainers who have benefited from lower tax rates but support a responsible solution to address Maine’s budget shortfall.

“Last year’s budget deal actually increases taxes on those who can least afford it and gives huge windfalls to those who need it least” said MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin.  “At the same time, it compromises revenues when we need them most to fund health care, education, and other critical programs that lessen the damage caused by the worst recession since the Great Depression.  Today, I am honored to be joined by four prominent Maine citizens who have one thing in common – they have achieved financial success and economic stability in their own lives and believe it is only appropriate that they pay their fair share in taxes, particularly at a time when the alternatives mean people are losing their health care, families are losing access to child care, and important preventive programs are being cut.”

On January 25, MECEP and its partners in the Engage Maine Coalition unveiled their proposal to reform MaineCare effectively and responsibly, roll back recent tax cuts for households earning more than $200,000, and restore tax fairness by increasing the effective tax rate on the top 1% to the state average. More than 2,600 people have pledged their support for this effort by signing up at the website

“The issue at hand is one of a continuing trend towards unfairness,” said Lee Auto Malls Chairman Adam Lee.  “Is it fair that the tax laws are written to allow people who make the most money to pay the lowest rate?   An economy and society do not thrive when they are based on a system that is not fair.  Please help us support a change to a system in Maine to make it a little more fair.”

“Maine has been a place where the spirit of taking care of each other has been championed by leaders of all political affiliations,” said former Maine legislator Ed Legg. “If the recommended cuts are adopted, this bi-partisan decades-long commitment will be lost. As an alternative, I am more than willing to pay my fair share in taxes to help keep this wonderful legacy alive and well in Maine.”

“Our society rightly rewards success, but we must call on the most fortunate among us to pay their fair share,” said real estate business owner Cliff Ginn.  “Whether an individual’s fortune is a result of hard work, inheritance, luck, or some combination, they should be paying at least what working families pay.  This is a simple moral and economic choice, but it is one on which our state’s future depends.”

“I am a person who never had to worry about food, shelter, health care or education and that has allowed me to flourish,” said Bill Creighton, a board member of United for a Fair Economy.  “Everyone should have that opportunity, and the resources exist for that to be true.”


from the left: Cliff Ginn, Bill Creighton, Adam Lee and Ed Legg