A "No On 1" sign is seen Friday, Oct. 13 on Congress Street in Portland. Credit: Jake Bleiberg

PORTLAND, Maine — A group of landlords, real estate agents and developers is trying to persuade voters in Maine’s largest city not to approve a rent control ordinance.

The Portland Press Herald reports that more than 100 people gathered Thursday in Portland for a rally organized by the group Say No To Rent Control.

From July 1 to Sept. 30, Say No To Rent Control raised over $146,000 to defeat the ballot question, while the group supporting it, Fair Rent Portland, raised only $3,200.

Say No To Rent Control still had more than $107,000 in its war chest, as of an Oct. 5 campaign finance report. The opposition group’s heavy fundraising from developers and property owners is set to make rent control one of Portland’s most expensive ballot initiatives, and its spending is already visible in campaign signs peppering public land around the city.

A question on the Nov. 7 ballot will ask voters if they want to enact an ordinance that would limit rent increases and make it more difficult to evict tenants.

Critics of the proposal say it may be well-intentioned, but it will ultimately be bad for renters by discouraging landlords from investing in their properties.

Proponents say the measure is needed to combat rising rents. Landlords say rents have been stable in the past two years.