General Dynamics, the weapons manufacturer that owns Bath Iron Works, is applying to the state of Maine for a big tax break (“Maine lawmakers to consider extending tax credit for BIW,” Nov. 16). The company claims it cannot remain competitive in the warship building industry without Maine taxpayers excusing BIW from paying its share of taxes.

But for the last three years General Dynamics spent $9.4 billion buying its own stocks back. This enables it to give enormous salaries and bonuses to its top executives. CEO Phebe Novakovic made $21 million last year. But, she claims, General Dynamics can’t afford to contribute its fair share of state taxes.

Lately the Paradise Papers leaked the information that super wealthy people avoid taxes by moving their money out of the U.S. Our roads and bridges are crumbling, while our elders and children are worried about where their next meal is coming from. But we are asked to give even more to General Dynamics executives because of the jobs needed at BIW.

Jobs are needed in Maine, it’s true. Conversion to building something besides warships would generate thousands more jobs. But giving General Dynamics/BIW a break on state taxes will go right into the pockets of their already wealthy executives and shareholders. Contact your state legislators today to let them know General Dynamics does not need another tax break.

Lisa Savage