Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TABOR tabled

A little over two years ago, I wrote this op-ed piece about Carol Palesky's first tax-cap proposal.

Voters rejected the second tax-reform referendum in as many years yesterday. And for a second time, we'll wait expectantly for our state legislature to take up the crucial issue of tax reform.

After the failure of the 1% tax cap in 2004, most people expected the Governor and the legislature to jump on the issue of tax relief. There have been a few initiatives, like the effort to regionalize services and to transfer more school funding to the state, but the near-success of TABOR tesifies to how unsatisfactory the results have been thus far.

Today's Press Herald argues that the voters who rejected TABOR were concerned more with this specific initiative than with tax reform in general, and that the next legislature will be expected to make Maine's tax system more equitable.

Only 37% of voters approved Question 1 in 2004. Last night, 46% of voters said "yes" to TABOR. If the legislature doesn't act quickly, we'll have another citizen-led effort to hack the state budget in 2008 - and the third time's the charm.

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