AUGUSTA, Maine: This week the Maine Heritage Policy Center launched a new online tool on their website www.maineopengov.org that allows for Mainers to "compare spending in their town versus spending in other towns." The Maine Heritage Policy Center is a supporter of Maine Tax Relief Initiative, Question 4 (2009) (TABOR II), which is scheduled to appear on the November 2009 ballot. TABOR II proposes limiting government spending and requiring voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes. The policy center said that they hope that the new online tool helps shed some light on local spending. "We want citizens of those towns to go in and say, wait a second, my town is the same size as this town but we're spending twice as much what's going on," said Michael Bowden of the Heritage Policy Center. Opponents of TABOR II argue that the new tool doesn't make sense. "One town has a different set of priorities than another and Maine is about local government and local control and the challenge of Tabor, to me, or to our organization is that it takes that away," said Tom Battin of the Citizen's Unified for Maine's Future.
- Maine Heritage Policy Center's online local property tax calculator can be found here.
* Maine Tax Relief Initiative, Question 4 (2009)