Chamber to hold excise tax forum

Posted Sept. 20, 2009, at 9:35 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast forum Wednesday at the Muddy Rudder Restaurant to examine the excise tax issue that will be on the November ballot.

Panelists, representing both sides of the issue, include Geoff Herman, director of state and federal relations for the Maine Municipal Association; Margaret “Peggy” Daigle, Old Town city manager; Tarren Bragdon, chief executive officer of the Maine Heritage Policy Center; and Chris Cinquemani, public affairs director of Maine Leads.

Wayne Harvey, a reporter for WABI-TV, Channel 5, will moderate the panel, pose questions to the panelists and field questions from the audience, according to a Chamber press release.

Question 2 on the Nov. 3 ballot seeks to cut the rate of the municipal excise tax on motor vehicles less than 6 years old, according to a report previously published in the Bangor Daily News. It also would exempt new or leased hybrid and other alternative-energy and highly fuel-efficient vehicles from sales taxes and three years of excise taxes.

“This is an important issue to Chamber members and communities within the Bangor region,” John Diamond, chairman of the board of directors of the Chamber, said in the press release. “It is our goal to provide an open forum to present both sides of the issue to make sure everyone is fully informed on this referendum question.”

The Chamber also will hold a luncheon forum at noon Oct. 7 at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer on the TABOR 2 question, which also will be on the November ballot.

Wednesday’s breakfast, hosted by Oxford Networks and WVOM-FM, is part of the Early Bird Breakfast Series that focuses on issues important to businesses and communities in the Bangor region. The breakfast buffet will begin at 7:30 a.m. followed by the forum.

The cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for nonmembers. Individuals may preregister by calling 947-0307.

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