Advocacy

Stop the $310 million income tax referendum scam that over promises and under delivers. Vote NO on Question One in November. Let’s work to get the word out.

 

The $310 million income tax referendum scam that over promises and under delivers in Maine
Question One makes a promise it can’t keep. This referendum promises a benefit to our seniors, who, if it passed, could reasonably expect to have the program there for them when they or their spouses get sick and need in-home care. Yet, when these vulnerable people need that program, they will be put on a wait list.
Also known as, ”An Act To Establish Universal Home Care for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities,” Question One is a referendum that will be put to the voters in November of 2018.
This referendum claims to pay for “in-home and community support services to individuals and families” for individuals with no means test to qualify. In reality, it would create yet another wait list for services for our elderly and our people with disabilities.
This referendum should be called “UNIVERSAL WAIT LISTS”
  • In at least nine different places, this bill authorizes eligibility criteria, wait lists and the curtailing of services. Universal is not universal.
  • People in nursing homes do not qualify.
  • There is no length of residency requirement in order to be eligible to receive services.
  • It will create yet another quasi-governmental board with zero oversight and no ability to remove board members for poor performance or corruption.
  • It will impose a 3.8% payroll tax on all workers who earn $128,400; 1.9% paid by the worker and 1.9%paid by the employer. Self-employed or pass ­through entities would pay the total 3.8%. Just like the 3% tax surcharge on the 2016 ballot, this will drive high-earning professionals out of Maine.
  • The bill lists items other than care that the funds can pay for, including transportation, home repairs and rent. It can pay for training for workers instead of care.

 

  • Because there is no means test, individuals with significant assets are eligible for payments and may be served ahead of people who have little-to-no savings and are subsisting on a fixed income.
  • There is no estimated cost to setting up this system or for staffing it, yet the administration is limited to 5 percent of funds collected. There is no way to determine whether that will be sufficient.
  • Sets up a new bureaucracy to determine eligibility, process claims and audit payments to prevent fraud. This program will need its own offices where people can enroll because it is separate from DHHS.
  • It requires any individual care provider, meaning, for example, a parent or spouse who is being paid to care for a child or partner with a disability, to be considered a state employee for collective­ bargaining purposes. These people need every penny and should not be harassed to join a union while working in their own home caring for a loved one.
  • It will force DHHS to disclose the names, addresses and email addresses of all people who are eligible to receive in-home care support to the board and to “constituency associations.”This data will be used to run elections of the board members, with no outside agency ensuring sensitive data is handled properly or, if it’s not, to ensure violators have consequences.
  • The board will be able to write and adopt its own rules without any legislative or executive branch oversight.
This bill is not about caring for our seniors. It’s about selling a scheme to our seniors and people with disabilities, funneling money to union bosses and driving highly paid professionals, like doctors and engineers, out of Maine.
Question One is a TAX SCAM
  • Largest income tax increase in the history of Maine.
  • Creates a 10.95% per household income tax bracket that would make Maine have the highest tax rate in the country.
  • Hits Maine’s self-employed and small business owners especially hard and makes it more difficult for small, family-owned businesses to survive.
Question One is an ELDER SCAM
  • Elder and disabled Mainers will be forced to turn over their private health information, including home addresses and contact information, to an unlimited number of private groups.
  • Requires no income limit or minimum residency requirements for recipients of the benefits. This means even millionaires and out of staters would receive free services.
  • Over promises on what it can deliver to Maine’s most vulnerable; the elderly and disabled will be put on wait lists for services in addition to these already on wait lists for these services.
Question One is a BIG GOVERNMENT SCAM
  • Creates a shadow-government board with no direct accountability to the taxpayers of Maine.
  • Violates the Maine Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and federal privacy laws.
  • A virtually identical scheme in Illinois has already been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, making the proposal a waste of taxpayer dollars.
  • Require EVERY independent home health care worker – even family members providing homecare – to be represented by a State Employee Union and pay mandatory service fees from that Union. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on June 27, 2018 that such a requirement — forcing workers into union membership — is unconstitutional.