Deadline Quickly Approaches to Add Initiative to November Ballot 

Tax repeal supporters are facing a Thursday deadline to turn in more than 55,000 valid signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to force a vote.

At issue is a measure enacted by the Maine Legislature in April to increase taxes on beer and wine, soda, flavored water and other drinks to help bolster funding for Maine’s state-run Dirigo Health Program.

Chamber President Dana Connors says he’s been surprised by the high level of interest in the issue and says indicators are encouraging that enough signatures will be submitted.

Supporters of the taxes say repealing them will threaten health insurance coverage provided to thousands of mainers by the Dirigo Insurance program.