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VOTE NO on Question 1 - a 3.8% Tax

~ Please download and distribute the PDF of this letter (linked in the text)

Oct 3, 2018

Editor’s Note:

Please download the PDF of this letter and distribute it widely!

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This is the text of Question #1 as it will appear on the ballot:

“Question 1: Citizen Initiative

Do you want to create the Universal Home Care Program to provide home-based assistance to people with disabilities and senior citizens, regardless of income, funded by a new 3.8% tax on individuals and families with Maine wage and adjusted gross income above the amount subject to Social Security taxes, which is $128,400 in 2018?”

October 3, 2018

Fellow Voter,

In 2016, special interests raised millions of dollars, almost entirely from out of state, to fund a ballot initiative that hiked Maine’s top income tax rate to over 10% for individuals, couples and small businesses making over $200,000 per year. After a long struggle the Legislature reversed the tax, but this year the special interests are at it again, funding another costly, tax-increasing ballot initiative. This November’s ballot will include Question 1: An Act to Establish Universal Home Care.

Question 1 raises taxes by 3.8% for individuals, couples and small businesses earning more than $128,400 per year. If approved, it will be the largest tax increase in Maine history. Supporters have already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for signs, ads and canvassers to go door-to-door to promote the initiative. We can’t let Maine be bought through its ballot initiative process again. I urge you to VOTE NO on Question 1 and tell your friends to VOTE NO on Question 1.

What is “Universal Home Care?” The language in Question 1 gives some examples, but ultimately leaves it to an unaccountable board to decide what services are included. The list starts off with nursing care and counseling services, but goes on to include paying for home repairs, cab rides, rent subsidies and stipends for family members who take care of relatives.

And who benefits? Question 1 includes no income or residency restrictions for beneficiaries.

Question 1 makes these benefits available to millionaires and out of staters. The unaccountable board is charged with setting working conditions and improving wages of home care service providers, and Question 1 unionizes those workers whether they like it or not. Is this really about providing care for the elderly in their homes, or giving a big payout to a few? Please VOTE NO on Question 1.

Question 1: Bad In So Many Ways

1. How the Tax Works: Question 1 increases taxes by 3.8% on all combined total income over $128,400 from any sources. It puts a 1.9% tax on employee wages over $128,400 and a 1.9% payroll tax on employers who pay those wages. It also puts a 3.8% tax on other sources of income, such as bank interest, rents or investment dividends. Imagine a two-earner couple, each of whom make $80,000 per year. They also earn $5,000 from bank interest, rent and investment dividends.

When they file jointly, their taxable income is $165,000. Because neither earned over $128,400 individually, no employer withheld the employer portion. At tax time, this couple would have to pay the full additional 3.8% on everything over $128,400. A small business owner who retires and sells their business would have to pay an additional 3.8% tax on the sale.

2. High Taxes: Maine already has one of the highest tax rates in the country. If approved, ballot Question 1 would give Maine the highest top marginal tax rate in the country for people making middle-class wages. We already have doctor shortages that cause emergency rooms to be staffed with temporary doctors and specialists to look elsewhere to live and work. We already have snowbirds who flee to protect their nest eggs. Now, middle-income Mainers will be walloped with more taxes. High taxes cripple the state’s ability to bring professionals to the state.

Faced with difficulty attracting talent, employers that don’t need to be here can choose to expand elsewhere or leave Maine entirely. Large companies compete against out of state companies for talented employees and a higher tax rate in Maine makes our companies less competitive because employees will take home less pay. There are more numerous job opportunities, higher wages, lower taxes and excellent schools in many states including Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

3. Zero Accountability: Unlike with legislators, you can’t “vote the bums out” when they misspend all of these new taxes. Instead, Question 1 creates an unaccountable board – a fourth branch of government – to administer all these new tax dollars: estimated to be over $300 million per year. This board creates its own rules for how to spend the money and approves its own budget without legislative oversight. It will decide who gets benefits, what those benefits are and how they are distributed. It has specific directives to spend the money on higher wages for home care workers.

4. Inside Dealing: Worse yet, the new board is designed so that its members only include those people who will directly benefit from all of this new spending. The Board’s membership is selected by (1) home care industry groups, including the new home care workers union; (2) the home care workers, themselves; and (3) the people receiving the home care services. Regular Maine taxpayers have no voice in how these tax dollars are spent.

5. Your Privacy: The board is directed to determine what individual Mainers qualify for benefits and to identify and communicate with all potential beneficiaries. To do this, the board will access the private health records of these individuals, even if they do not consent.

Question 1 is not about caring for seniors. It’s about selling a scheme to them, funneling money to special interests and driving highly paid professionals, like doctors and engineers, out of Maine.

We support helping the elderly age in place, but Question 1 is the wrong way to this goal.

For more information visit

VOTE NO on Question 1!

The Cumberland County Republican Committee continues to advocate for solutions to illconceived measures such as Question 1, but we need your help to be successful. The groups who finance and support Question 1 have already hired teams of people to go door to door to promote this and other initiatives driven by out-of-state interests. We must provide an effective counterpoint to their message. In addition, we need your help to send legislators and a Governor to Augusta who will create a healthy business climate, rather than run wealth out of the state with onerous taxes.

Your donation of just $50 can send 75 more letters like this one to your neighbors. Your time as a volunteer can do much more. Don’t complain; do something! Please visit to make a donation and email to see how you can get involved. You may also mail a donation by check payable to “CCRC” to “CCRC, 37 New Gloucester Road, North Yarmouth, Maine 04097.”

Yours truly,

John H. Doyle

Chair, Cumberland County Republican Committee

John H. Doyle is an attorney, farmer and father of five young children. A graduate of the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia School of Law, John launched his legal career in the corporate and securities group of a large law firm in Washington, DC, before starting his own practice representing technology companies as in-house counsel. Along the way John married his high school sweetheart, Joan, who brought him back to Maine; the place her family has called home since before the Revolutionary War. John, Joan and their children now carry on the tradition of farming at the historic family homestead.


Next CCRC General Meeting

February CCRC Meeting:
Tue, February 23rd, 6:30 social, 7:00pm Meeting.
This meeting will be at the Toddy Brook Golf Course Café.
Food and drink will be available for purchase.



Cumberland County Virtual Golf Tournament
Lincoln Club Dinner with Senator Susan Collins as Keynote Speaker, Fri, 2/7/2020
Event: Why Socialism Would Destroy America’s Economy & Freedoms