I have operated Darlene’s Hair Shop for 32 years. I am concerned about the impact of the 3 percent tax surcharge on individual incomes over $200,000. The referendum was passed by a very slim margin largely due to outside groups’ influence. The result? Maine now plans to tax individuals who are a strong part of our community: small business owners. It should be repealed.

Laws are frequently passed to pay for things that never happen. The bonds to repair our roads and bridges are an example of this. Bond issues always seem to be on the ballots, yet vehicles, including buses, continue to drive down roads and cross bridges that remain unsafe and in need of repair. This tax surcharge may never go toward education funding as it was intended to, but it will certainly affect the small business community.

Keeping this tax will add financial burdens to small businesses and hinder progress to ensure Maine remains competitive enough to attract more business. It will hit families who combine their incomes, not wealthy people who could afford to pay a little extra. Perhaps there is a better way to fund education than taxing residents and small businesses.

We are already taxed to death, and any smart business owner doesn’t want taxes to go up more than necessary. We have relatively stable businesses here that contribute to a lot of customer satisfaction. What happens after we lose those businesses because they cannot afford to pay the regular tax plus 3 percent more? Let’s hope Legislature will help ensure this surcharge is repealed before it has the chance to harm our families, small businesses and economy.

Darlene Moody

Gardiner