February 22, 2019  
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BREAKING NEWS: LePage uses State of the State to launch new jihad against conservation lands
BREAKING NEWS: LePage uses State of the State to launch new jihad against conservation lands
Maine Gov. Paul LePage opened his final State of the State address Tuesday night by slamming land trusts.

In a joint session of the Maine Legislature, the lame duck governor lied about how many acres of trust lands in Maine are tax exempt.

LePage suggested that a major push during his final months will be a jihad to tax land trust conservation lands.

Recently, articles, opinion pieces and letters in many Maine news outlets have provided compelling information about the benefits land trusts provide, including tax payments and payments in lieu of taxes.

Last week, for instance, on Thursday, the Lincoln County News, published a piece which noted: "In the Midcoast, the land trust community just finished a banner year saving the lands that protect the wildlife and beauty of the Midcoast while creating opportunities for families to get outdoors, learn about nature, and support the local economy."

Last Friday, Nick Ullo and Angela Twitchell, of the Maine Land Trust Network, pointed out in the Portland Press Herald that "Nearly 95 percent of all lands conserved by land trusts in Maine remain on the tax rolls."

On Sunday, Karen Young, of Kittery Land Trust, wrote in Seacoast Online, "York, Kittery, and Great Works Regional Land Trusts and other partners conserve land for community recreation and enjoyment as well as for clean water, scenery, heritage, wildlife habitat and more - all of which strengthens our communities and economy."

On Monday, Andy Beahm, executive director of Maine Audubon, published an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News, which underscored that "Protecting our wild places has long been a core, nonpartisan value in Maine. That’s why recent political attacks taking aim at land conservation are so troubling. Critiques of land conservation that don’t account for these benefits simply aren’t telling the whole story."

However, LePage has been impervious to the facts about land trusts.

As he entered the State House Tuesday evening, the governor encountered Mainers peacefully rallying for "health care now!"

As LePage walked up the stairs to the House Chamber, he became agitated and began shouting at the citizens who were rallying. According to eye witness reports, police moved in to hold him back from the protesters.

Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 (Archive on Tuesday, March 6, 2018)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre

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