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Posts Tagged ‘Chellie Pingree

An Open Letter to Bill Nemitz

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Dear Bill,

I’m writing with a suggestion for one of your columns in the PPH/MST. As long-time reader of those publications, I know that you are constantly on the lookout for stories about people who have seemingly been shafted by “the system”.

As you may be aware, last year President Obama and members of Congress enacted the Stimulus Bill, aimed at averting a fiscal crisis in the US banking system, and jump-starting the stalled economy. One provision of that bill was an $8000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

Although this tax credit didn’t exactly reinvigorate the housing market, it still proved to be enormously popular among real estate professionals and the lobbyists who serve them. Consequently, this law was expanded in November to include an additional $6500 tax credit for persons selling a home where they had resided during the previous five years.

Hearing this, you might ask yourself, “What kind of tax credit is available for long-time homeowners who bought a new house during the window between the initial bill and the November extension?”.

Answer: Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

As somebody who closed on a new construction home in May of this year, I was quite excited when I first heard about this extended tax credit. I naturally assumed that Congress would make this law retroactive so that people who bought a home during one of the most unstable financial periods in US history would be able to reap the benefit. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

If it sounds like I’m complaining just because this affects me personally – well – I am. The fact is, we had committed to the construction of this home before the bottom dropped out of the world economy. We are certainly not “well off” by any means: Right now – like a lot of Americans – our household income is down about 15% on the year, and we could really use this tax credit.

By the way, it’s worth noting that all four members of our congressional delegation voted in favor of this tax break. I sent a letter to each of them back in mid November requesting some clarification on their position: So far, none of them have bothered to reply. This response – or lack thereof – is especially surprising coming from the office of our newest House Member, Chellie Pingree. I distinctly recall a recent PPH letter from her Communications Director, former Maine radio host Willie Rich, in which he stated that Ms. Pingree’s staff responds to most communications within two weeks. As a freshman member of Congress, I’d think Chellie Pingree would be more concerned about the impression she’s leaving with her new constituents. Is it really that tough to crank out a form letter?

The next time Congress has some stimulus money to distribute, maybe they should just hold a lottery. The results would probably be more equitable.


Written by mainecartoons

December 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm