AUGUSTA, ME– Maine GOP Executive Director Jason Savage released the following statement regarding Gov. Janet Mills’ outrageous explanation of why she is taxing struggling Maine businesses to pay for her bloated budget:
“Only Janet Mills would argue that this pandemic tax of $100 MILLION on Maine’s small businesses is a sound approach to balance the state budget,” said Executive Director Jason Savage. “After trying to impose this outrageous pandemic tax on Maine’s struggling small businesses, she is now saying that they are looking into a $100 million bailout by raiding federal government funds Maine has put elsewhere to sustain Mills’ ‘balanced budget’.”
“Throughout her time in office, Janet Mills has failed to lead in running our state with any sense of sound financial management and her attempt to prey on Maine’s struggling small businesses is just the latest in a long line of failures. No matter how hard she tries to pass the buck, Janet Mills owns her job killing policies and the financial ruin that has resulted for so many small businesses. Instead of just owning this, she is now attempting the Augusta two-step to skirt the issue and pass the responsibility to someone else. Since Gov. Mills seems unwilling to admit why the public outcry against her is so intense, let’s lay it out for her in clear, simple terms.
1. Janet Mills bloated Maine’s budget by historic amounts and ignored pleas to keep spending under control.
2. Janet Mills ignored warnings that the budget was in trouble in the early months of the pandemic.
3. Janet Mills punished Maine businesses with unreasonable, confusing and ever-changing restrictions, closing many and further damaging the economy and hurting state revenue.
4. Janet Mills quietly instructed Maine Revenue Services to prepare software and forms to impose this pandemic tax even before she ever presented her plan to the Maine Legislature.
5. Janet Mills built a state budget that relied on $100 million in tax revenue on federal pandemic aid.
6. Janet Mills leaned into the pandemic tax, saying Maine couldn’t afford to “waive” this tax, even though most states have done so.
That is a six-step plan to financial and political disaster for Maine and Janet Mills. It is also exactly what Janet Mills chose to do. Now she’s doing the Augusta two-step trying to wiggle out of it.
Janet Mills does not get to redirect blame or spread responsibility around for this horrible attack on Maine small businesses. She started it, she pushed it forward, and she ignored all warnings that Maine’s budget was in trouble.
Janet Mills owns this pandemic tax and all the other damage that she has done, from start to finish – as she has not even allowed lawmakers to do their jobs or fix problems while this crisis unfolded.