A business group aligned with the progressive Maine People’s Alliance met at a Bangor restaurant Thursday to call upon U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, both Republicans, to reject any Republican efforts to slash Medicare and Medicaid and to cut taxes for the wealthy and large corporations.
“We’re here today to tell Sen. Collins and Rep. Poliquin that Maine small-business owners don’t need tax cuts for wealthy individuals and massive corporations from out of state,” said Will Ikard, who heads the Maine Small Business Coalition. “What we need is investment in programs that strengthen lower- and middle-class families.”
Amy Grant, a Belfast business owner, said President Donald Trump’s budget eliminates the estate tax, which affects only about 20 Mainers with estates valued at a minimum of $5.6 million. She said nationally, the tax generates about $260 billion dollars each year.
“That’s $260 billion that benefits eastern Maine through Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and Pell Grants,” she said.
In a prepared statement, Poliquin said he favors a budget that will deliver lower taxes for Maine families, create jobs and improve the economy.
A spokeswoman for Collins said the senator continues to make Maine business needs a top priority and authored a budget amendment to lower taxes on small businesses that was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate last week.