When voters around the state head to the polls Tuesday, June 8, first on the list of statewide ballot questions will be a People’s Veto initiative that will read as follows:

“Do you want to reject the new law that lowers Maine’s income tax and replaces that revenue by changes to the sales tax?”

The details of this law have been examined in articles and opinion pieces printed on the pages of this and other papers in recent months, but as a quick recap, the law would lower the state’s income tax rate while at the same time broadening the sales tax and increasing the meals and lodging tax.

The plan is structured, proponents say, to provide a net benefit to the majority — nearly 90 percent, when all is said and done — of Maine residents. Part of the goal of the tax reform is also to stabilize state revenues in uncertain economic times, which benefits the state as a whole.

Opponents of the tax reform measure, those who will be voting yes on June 8. have an easier time convincing people to side with them than do proponents. The mere mention of any new taxes — in this case, applying the sales tax to previously untaxed items and services — is enough to anger many in these days of Tea Party rallies and town hall shouting matches.

To just get angry about having to pay sales tax on the labor done on your car in the future, when you haven’t had to do so in the past, does the tax reform proposal a disservice. It ignores the fact that the vast majority of Mainers will now have more money in their pockets to pay those new taxes, and that most Maine residents will still end up with more money even when the new taxes are factored in.

Will this be true for all Mainers? No. But 88 percent — the percentage of Mainers that Maine Revenue Services says will come out ahead, financially, under this system — is a significant proportion. And will those in the 88 percent be rolling in extra money? Certainly not. One figure cited by proponents is that the average Mainer will pay approximately $170 less in taxes than under the old system.

Still, with everyone looking for ways to save money and stretch their dollars a little further, we’re certain Maine families could put that $170 to good use. And looked at from another angle, why should the average Mainer continue to pay what amounts to an extra $170 to the state if tax reform proponents have found a way to save that same taxpayer that much?

Though there are certainly exceptions, the tax reform proposal is generally supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. Like others, we find ourselves somewhat mystified by GOP opposition to the tax reform measure. It seems that part of their opposition — perhaps much of it — stems from the fact that they are opposed to anything that comes out of Augusta.

Republican State Rep. Mike Thibodeau, for example, sought to link the tax reform measure with other initiatives from Augusta that have proven unpopular with some Mainers — namely, school consolidation and Dirigo Health — at a recent public forum held in his hometown of Winterport.

Tax reform, however, is neither of those things and is not even related to those things. To try to put the tax reform measure in the same box as those two items is unfair and serves no useful purpose. It merely helps those who are already disinclined to support anything the Democrat-controlled Legislature does believe the tax reform plan is a bad idea, without actually judging it on its merits.

Like others who support keeping the tax reform law on the books, we acknowledge that the plan is not without its flaws. John Piotti, one of the chief proponents of the law, acknowledges as much in his guest column in this paper this week. “Having worked hard on this new law, I am the first to admit that it is far from perfect,” he says.

We see two examples, in particular, that reflect the imperfect nature of this bill: the fact that ski-lift tickets are still exempt from the sales tax, and that a proposed tax increase on the sale of luxury homes was removed from the law prior to its passage.

For example, Thibodeau asked those attending the Winterport forum whether it was fair that someone driving a luxury vehicle to Sunday River would not have to pay sales tax on ski-lift tickets, while a hard-working family that has a used car would (under the tax reform law) have to pay sales tax on movie tickets when they took their kids to the movie theater at the end of the week.

No, that’s not fair. And a story by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting earlier this year detailing how the ski-lift tickets and luxury homes were exempted from the law, doesn’t leave us with a good feeling about how business is sometimes conducted in Augusta.

These, however, are not reasons to overturn a law that — on the whole — will be an improvement for most Mainers. We will be voting no on Question 1 on June 8, and we encourage others to do the same.