Stephen King, the world-bestselling horror novelist, may have put a scare into the Tea Party-aligned Republican governor of Maine, demanding that Paul LePage “man up and apologize” for falsely claiming that the Salem’s Lot author and Maine native had become a tax exile from his beloved home state.
Governor Paul LePage implied that I don’t pay my taxes. I do. Every cent. I think he needs to man up and apologize.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 20, 2015
The ire of the 67-year-old author who has published 60 books, including 54 novels and six nonfiction books in the 42 years since his 1973 debut Carrie, was raised by remarks made by LePage during a radio speech in which LePage pushed for his plan to roll back the Maine state income tax. In the speech, LaPage stated that King and philanthropist Roxanne Quimby had fled Maine in order to avoid the income tax.
“Remember who introduced the income tax here in Maine,” LePage said in his broadcast address. “Well, today former Governor Ken Curtis lives in Florida where there is zero income tax. Stephen King and Roxanne Quimby have moved away, as well.”
While Stephen King does avoid Maine’s icy winters at a second home in Florida, the Pet Sematary author wanted it known that not only does he in no way avoid paying his Maine taxes, he is pleased to do so. In an email to The Portland Press-Herald, in fact, King revealed exactly how much in taxes he pays to the state.
“In 2013, my wife and I paid approximately 1.4 million (dollars) in state taxes,” King revealed to the paper. “As this is a matter of public record, I have no problem telling you that. I would imagine 2014 was about the same, but I do not have those figures. In addition, the King Foundation gives grants from three to five million dollars annually, mostly in Maine. We consider this a very fair price for living in the most beautiful state in America.”
King went on to explain his beliefs about the income tax system.
“We feel, as Governor LePage apparently does not, that much is owed from those to whom much has been given. We see our taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much. State taxes pay for state services. There’s just no way around it. Governor LePage needs to remember there ain’t no free lunch.”
In reality, King not only resides for most of the year at his home in Bangor, Maine, he owns at least one other home in the state as well.
As of Sunday morning, according to King via the writer’s Twitter account, LePage had still neglected to say he’s sorry, prompting King to accuse the politician who the Washington-based online magazine Politico called “America’s craziest governor” of being “a lot better at dishing it out than taking it back.”
No apology from Governor LePage. Some guys are a lot better at dishing it out than taking it back. — Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 22, 2015
Stephen King openly campaigned against LePage in the 2014 Maine gubernatorial election, endorsing Democrat Mike Michaud and slamming LePage for doing “a lousy job” running King’s lifelong home state.
[Images: Donald Bowers/Getty Images, Matthew Gagnon/Wikimedia Commons]