Last week, Paul LePage, the governor of Maine, stated that people were moving to Florida to avoid paying their state income taxes, and people may have just left it at that, if he hadn’t used Stephen King as a prime example. Mr. King’s response to the erroneous accusation was swift, demanding that the governor “man up and apologize.”
Gov. LePage has a new tax plan and he thought his weekly radio addresses provided the perfect opportunity to deliver it to the public. In his zeal to convince the people of the plan’s necessity, the governor brought attention to prominent Maine citizens who had moved to warmer climates, including Stephen King.
“Meanwhile, remember who introduced the income tax here in Maine. 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.”
There’s just one small problem. Stephen King has not moved out of Maine. While he does own vacation property in Florida, Stephen King’s primary residence is still in Maine and, as concerned resident, Mr. King apparently happened to be listening to one of those radio broadcasts.
“Governor LePage is full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green…Tabby (Tabitha, Stephen’s wife) and I pay every cent of our Maine state income taxes, and are glad to do it. 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.”
Stephen left it at that, awaiting a response. That response was as swift as one might think, but not nearly as heartfelt as Mr. King had hoped. Gov. LePage immediately issued a revised radio address that omitted Stephen’s name, which the governor had hoped would satisfy Mr. King.
“We had to take Stephen King at his word,” LePage communications director Peter Steele said. “He said he pays income taxes in Maine so we corrected the radio address.”
Stephen was less than satisfied with this response and Mr. King immediately took to his official twitter account to express his dissatisfaction to his fans.
“Governor Paul LePage implied that I don’t pay my taxes. I do. Every cent. I think he needs to man up and apologize,” Mr. King tweeted.
Stephen followed that tweet up with a statement issued to the Press Herald.
“In 2013, my wife and I paid approximately 1.4 million (dollars) in state taxes…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.”
There has been no further response from Gov. LePage’s office, though it seems Stephen King will pursue the matter until he is given the apology he is owed.
Maybe Mr. King can send Pennywise to the governor’s office?
[Image courtesy of Facebook]