Maine School Finance and Tax Reform Carry-over, Question 1 (2004)
The Maine School Finance and Tax Reform Carry-over Measure, also known as Question 1, was on the June 8, 2004 ballot in Maine as an automatic ballot referral, where it was approved. The measure required the state to pay 55 percent of the total costs of public education for kindergarten through grade 12, and 100 percent of the costs of special education services that are mandated by federal or state law. The proposal did not specify how the State would fund those costs. Instead, it directed the taxation committee of the state legislature to report out legislation that would generate the additional revenue necessary to achieve these funding levels.
|Maine Question 1 (2004)|
Text of measure
The language appeared on the ballot as:
Do you want the State to pay 55% of the cost of public education, which includes all special education costs, for the purpose of shifting costs from the property tax to state resources? 
The following description of the intent and content of this ballot measure was provided in the Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election:
This citizen-initiated legislation was presented to the voters in November, 2003, along with a competing measure proposed by the Legislature. At the 2003 election, the citizen initiative received a greater number of votes than either the competing measure or the option to reject both measures. It received less than a majority but more than one third of the total votes cast on that question. Accordingly, the Maine Constitution requires that the citizen initiative be resubmitted by itself to the voters for their approval or rejection at the next statewide election.
The initiated legislation provides that the State shall pay at least 55% of the total costs of public education for kindergarten through grade 12, and 100% of the costs of special education services that are mandated by federal or state law. The proposal does not specify how the State would fund those costs. Instead, it directs the Legislature’s taxation committee to report out legislation by March 1, 2004, to generate the additional revenue necessary to achieve these funding levels. Since the March date has already passed, a determination will have to be made regarding the effect of this provision in the event the initiated legislation is enacted by the voters.
In addition, 2% of the funds appropriated by the Legislature under this Act would be deposited in a new fund, entitled the "Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services," for distribution to schools and municipalities that are able to demonstrate significant and sustainable savings in educational services costs through collaborative efforts, regionalization or consolidation.
Another fund, entitled the "Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Local and Regional Services," would be created using 2% of the tax revenue deposited in the municipal revenue sharing account and distributed to those municipalities that can demonstrate significant and sustainable cost savings in the delivery of governmental services through regional and collaborative efforts.
Citizens Who Support Maine's Public Schools raised $328,500 was spent in favor of passing Question 1, while it had no organized opposition.
The group received:
- $300,000 from the National Education Association
- $28,000 from the Maine Education Association
Path to the ballot
This measure was originally submitted to voters as an indirect initiated state statute with a competing measure in 2003 as Maine School Finance and Tax Reform Initiative or Question 1. While it did win over the competing measure, it did not receive more than half of the votes cast, and therefore had to be voted upon a second time before it could be enacted.
- Maine 2004 ballot measures
- 2004 ballot measures
- List of Maine ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Maine
- Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election, Tuesday, June 8, 2004 from Maine Secretary of State
- Referendum Election Tabulations, June 8, 2004 from Maine Secretary of State
- The Exception Magazine, "Maine Property Taxpayers Should Have Paid $188 Million Less (10%) in Property Taxes in 2008," March 27, 2009
- Maine Secretary of State, Division of Elections, "Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election, Tuesday, June 8, 2004," accessed May 7, 2014
- Maine Secretary of State, Elections Division, "Referendum Election Tabulations, June 8, 2004," accessed May 7, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Follow the Money, "QUESTION 1 (JUNE): K-12 Education Funding," accessed May 7, 2014
- Follow the Money, "CITIZENS WHO SUPPORT MAINES PUBLIC SCHOOLS," accessed May 7, 2014
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