April 07, 2020
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Eddington selectmen come out against TABOR

EDDINGTON – After discussing the pros and cons of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative facing voters on Nov. 7, town selectmen Tuesday voted unanimously to work to defeat the measure, Town Manager Russell Smith said Wednesday.

“Eddington would stand to lose” under TABOR, he said.

TABOR is designed to limit increases in state and local government spending by linking them to the rate of inflation plus an area’s growth in population.

To override these limits is a two-step process: First, two-thirds of a governing body, such as the Legislature or town selectmen, must approve the increase; then a majority of voters must approve the increase at the next general or special election.

The proposed TABOR legislation “established poorly designed and irrational budget restriction formulas that attempt to dictate the amount of money local voters can raise and spend to provide municipal and school services, directly interfering with local control,” Eddington’s resolve opposing the proposed law states.

“It’s very difficult [to understand] with all these figures and formulas,” Smith said of the seven pages of TABOR legislation.

The town’s resolve goes on to state that residents should be told of “the potential negative impacts of TABOR on local services, quality of life and local control over taxes and spending.”

Tax relief is needed, but selectmen “don’t feel this is the answer,” Smith said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, selectmen also:

. Heard that bids for the town office addition would be opened on the afternoon of Oct. 26 and would be presented to a joint gathering of the building committee and selectmen at 6 that evening.

. Appointed Selectman Charles Baker Jr. to the steering committee for the SAD 63 comprehensive planning commission.

The text of the TABOR legislation can be found on the Secretary of State’s Web site at: www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/pets02/legbillr.htm.

Correction: A Thursday story on the Eddington selectmen’s opposition to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights should have stated that, in order to override TABOR’s spending limits, a two-thirds vote at town meeting would be required followed by a majority vote at a general election.

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