April 06, 2020

Old Town passes resolution against Taxpayer Bill of Rights

OLD TOWN – The Council approved unanimously on Monday night a resolution against the statewide spending cap proposal known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights slated to be on the Nov. 7 ballot.

“TABOR threatens the quality of life in the city of Old Town and across the state of Maine through less investment in transportation and other infrastructure, job creation, research and development, education and public health,” the city’s resolution states.

TABOR is designed to limit increases in state and local government spending. Its formula uses the U.S. rate of inflation plus an area’s change in population to calculate the allowed increase. To override these limits is a two-step process: First, two-thirds of a governing body, such as the Legislature or town council, must approve. Then, a majority of voters must approve at the next general or special election.

“TABOR would abolish Old Town’s long tradition of majority rule,” the resolution reads.

City Manager Peggy Daigle previously stated that the proposal is a very cumbersome process that will destroy a good process.

As Old Town works to diversify its tax base since the March 16 closure of the Georgia-Pacific Corp. paper mill, TABOR would “weaken the ability of the city to meet our community’s needs,” according to the resolution.

The Council is requesting that residents join in their opposition of the initiative and vote against it Nov. 7.

In other meeting business, the Council decided not to increase the cost of parking permits and left the fee at $150 for a six-month permit.

On the other hand, the Council “gave clear instructions that they wanted the fines to be increased” for parking tickets, Daigle said Tuesday. They also asked that enforcement be stepped up.

The fine currently is $10 and doubles after 30 days, Public Safety Chief Don O’Halloran said Tuesday.

The Council is expected to discuss an increase in fees at the November meeting.

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