Tax-related initiatives focus of presentation

Posted Aug. 31, 2009, at 6:45 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Municipal Association will hold a presentation Thursday regarding a pair of hot-button tax-related initiatives that will be voted on by Mainers in November.

Members of the public are invited to attend the session, which will run 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Bangor Public Library.

A representative from the association will present the lobbying group’s opposition to both the motor vehicle excise tax referendum and to the latest version of a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, TABOR II.

Proponents of both referendums have been invited to make their case, although it is not known whether that will happen.

The auto excise tax initiative, pushed by the conservative-leaning Maine Heritage Policy Center, would lower rates by about 50 percent on vehicles 5 years old or newer. It would not affect the 68 percent of vehicles registered in Maine that are more than 5 years old.

The association has maintained that reducing the excise tax would help only wealthy new-car owners and would drastically reduce revenue generated by towns and cities. Bangor would lose $1.8 million annually if the measure were to pass.

TABOR II, also backed by the Maine Heritage Policy Center, essentially would require voter approval for state and local tax or spending increases. The association’s position on that measure is that it would take all control away from local governing boards and bodies.

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