April 09, 2020

SAD 25 won’t issue a stance on TABOR

STACYVILLE- The superintendent of SAD 25 feels that the district’s school board members are fully aware of the intricacies of the upcoming Taxpayer Bill of Rights, but the board will not be taking an official stance on the issue.

Superintendent John Doe said earlier this week that board members had received information about TABOR during several meetings but had held “very little discussion” about the matter during their monthly gatherings.

“The board has been getting information on TABOR, and we have looked at some figures and talked about what it might do to our district,” he said. “I think there are a lot of school boards who have done the same thing.”

The district consists of Stacyville, Sherman Station, Mount Chase and Patten.

Maine voters will decide TABOR’s fate on Nov. 7.

TABOR is modeled after a Colorado initiative and seeks to limit the growth of spending at the state, county, municipal and school district levels to the annual rate of inflation and population growth.

Communities could override TABOR-imposed limits on revenue increases. According to the TABOR proposal, revenue increases would have to be supported by two-thirds of the members of the legislative body of a quasimunicipal agency or a local district, then be approved by a majority of the voters in that jurisdiction.

Proponents of the proposal say TABOR allows for judicious growth of government at all levels while also fashioning a stable tax and regulatory climate.

Opponents see it differently, arguing that it would hurt local school districts and hamstring municipal efforts to provide services and sustain infrastructure.

Several municipal and school boards throughout Aroostook County have taken a public stance on TABOR, but Doe said that SAD 25 officials decided not to proceed in that direction.

“I think our job as a district is to be informed about the issue,” he said. “And I think that now there is definitely more awareness about it [TABOR] among board members.”

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