Hello, this is Dick Pickett, the State Representative from Dixfield.
Just last week, the Governor’s Energy Office announced that the statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.61 per gallon, the lowest statewide average price since December 2017.
This is 8 to 13% lower than last year at this time.
That is certainly good news to Mainers dreading the beginning of the 2019/2020 heating season.
Similarly, the recent dip (or any dip) in gasoline prices is noticed by Maine drivers.
Most of what we buy, produce and sell is transported by trucks over long distances and from markets.
Maine is a wonderful place to live, but the cost of heating our homes, transporting goods, traveling long distances for work and recreation is more expensive than other parts of the country.
That is why legislative Republicans continue to oppose efforts by Democrats to tax home heating fuel, our propane, kerosene, diesel, gasoline and other fuels.
When fuel prices go up, money comes directly out of our pockets.
Last session there were several proposals to increase these taxes that affect the cost of living for everyone in Maine.
One bill, in particular, proposed to levy a seemingly small tax of 1% on the wholesale price of heating oil, propane, coal, kerosene, and dyed diesel fuel that is intended for residential or commercial heating purposes.
Nine Democrats introduced that bill thinking you can afford the increased costs. But, a 1% increase on the wholesale price is not a small increase by the time it reaches the market.
Putting this type of tax levy on every heating fuel sold in Maine increases costs for every individual, family and business.
That is because any increase in cost, to a business, is an increase in prices to the consumer. Complying with new laws, regulations AND taxes all come with cost increase for you and me.
In Maine, virtually everything moves by truck. Everything we eat, consume and utilize in daily life travels by truck.
Like other new tax proposals, it ultimately slows the economy and makes it harder for people to live and work here.
There were several other attempts last session, including one to raise the price of oil .40 cents a gallon!
Democrats couldn’t pass LD 434 – An Act to Price Carbon Pollution in Maine, so they tried to turn it into a “study” thinking that you wouldn’t notice. The public did notice, and it was defeated.
Carbon tax “Carbon tax” bills place a significant burden on businesses and households and have a disproportionate impact on Maine’s low-income residents.
But the attacks on ratepayers (you and I) continued with proposals for additional $5-8 million cost every year, including paying three times more than the current rate for electricity.
Republicans strongly oppose these relentless efforts by Democrats to increase taxes on what you pay for fuels and anything else.
It is amazing to me that Democrats continually try to increase the cost of everything we eat, consume and utilize in our daily lives!
As we head into the fall and heating season, there are programs to assist you if you have difficulty heating your home. You can reach out to the House Republican Office at 287-1440 and we will connect you to appropriate departments and agencies.
In the meantime, know that my Republican colleagues and I worked hard to stop these increases to your fueling bill and will continue to do so when the legislature reconvenes in January. Democrats will surely try again to raise your taxes.
We are now living under one-party rule and Democrats have comfortable majorities in both houses. The only way to prevent tax increases is for the public to be aware of them and let their representatives in Augusta know that their constituents oppose them!
Republican economic policies are increasing helping workers, businesses and families improve their standard of living. That means everyone, not just narrow identity groups.
Please help us oppose new taxes that will weaken the economy and hurt families trying to heat their homes or travel through our large state.
This has been State Representative Dick Pickett with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
Thank you for listening.
Rep. Dick Pickett, a retired Chief of Police and 22-year veteran of the Maine State Police, is serving his third term representing District 116: Canton, Dixfield, Hartford, Mexico and Peru.