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Mainers Debate Eliminating Excise Tax 

There was a head-to-head debate in Brewer today on Question Two on this year’s ballot.A pair of panelists on each side of the issue argued for and against the measure.If passed by voters it would reduce Maine’s vehicle excise tax on vehicles less than six years old.It would also eliminate sales tax on certain fuel-efficient models.Those against the measure say excise tax is a vital way to help pay for local roads.Those for the measure say the excise tax is a huge burden on many Maine families and needs to be lowered or wiped out.Geoff Herman with the Maine Municipalities Association says, “This doesn’t do anything for the low-income people of the state. Assuming they’re unable to buy new cars except make the roads worse and their property taxes higher. I’m not buying this correlation between low-income people and the benefits of this proposal.”Tarren Bragdon with the Maine Heritage Policy Center replies, “If you buy into this argument that it’s used to fund local roads, then the question is, there are a lot more people driving on local roads who aren’t Maine residents. Why don’t we look at some kind of funding that reflects the cost of local roads on everyone who’s driving on them.”If passed, the excise tax would be cut by an average of 55-percent on vehicles less than six years old.