Small Business Owners Voice Support for "Better Deal for Maine" Budget Plan
On Monday, the Maine Small Business Coalition held a roundtable discussion in Portland with local small business owners, State Representative Denise Tepler (D-Topsham), and budget analyst Joel Johnson of Maine Center for Economic Policy about state budget proposals being considered by the legislature. Small business owners in attendance voiced strong support for the "Better Deal for Maine" plan, which prioritizes investment in communities and local economies that support main street businesses.
"There are two fundamental problems with the governor's tax reform plan. First, it doesn't adequately target tax cuts to low- and moderate-income Mainers. Second, it would force cuts to education, health care, and other critical services important to Maine people and businesses," said Johnson. "The bottom line is that the Better Deal helps create a more fair tax system that ensures proper funding for education, healthcare, and other critical services important to all Maine people and businesses."
Cathy Walsh, owner of Portland's Arabica Coffee, which hosted the event, said she prefers a budget that invests in our communities: "My business depends on state and local investment in public safety, transportation, and education. I rely on local police and fire to keep my business safe, well-maintained roads so my customers can get here, and public education to provide the best possible workforce. I hope legislators will trust small business owners and pass the Better Deal, which would fully fund these priorities.
Toby Alves, co-owner of Union Bagel in Portland, said he wants fair tax policy that benefits those Maine families that are struggling to make ends meet: "When Maine families have a little more money, they spend it locally at my store and others like mine. When the super-rich get a tax cut, they invest in their Wall Street portfolios. State government should be focused on getting money into the hands of my customers."
"It was great to have this opportunity to meet with the real drivers of Maine's economy - small business owners - and hear their concerns about tax and budget policy," said Rep. Tepler, who sits on the Taxation Committee. "It is my responsibility as a legislator to support policy that helps Maine's communities and that's why I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting the Better Deal plan."