Tabor Battle Heats Up With New Online Service

Updated 5 years ago

Michael Bowden of the Heritage Policy Center say it’s a great informational tool and it’s just ben added to their website. A website that has had over 120,000 hits. “What we found from maineopengov.org is people started asking questions and that’s what we want them to do,” says Bowen, “we want them to look at the data on there and we want them to compare spending in their town versus spending in other towns.” It’s called the property tax calculator and it can be found at their website, www.maineopengov.org, the idea is to get Maine citizen’s more involved in how their tax dollars are ultimately spent. The opposition says comparing property taxes between two different towns simply doesn’t make sense. Tom Battin is with the Citizen’s Unified for Maine’s Future and he says it undermines everything Maine is about. “It’s tricky sometimes to compare apples and oranges,” says Battin, “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.” Those at the policy center say some cities and towns do not provide their citizens with enough data to explain why their property taxes are on the rise. “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,” says Bowen. Battin says he believes they’re misrepresenting the information. “I think the challenge of data itself is in the interpretation,” he says, “and I think they have misinterpreted the data and presented it in a way that’s most beneficial to them, but I don’t think it’s beneficial to the voters. I think they do a disservice to the voters in the way they presented it to the voters.”There is a debate scheduled for Wednesday October 7 at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. It runs from 12:00-1:30. Mainers will ultimately decide the matter when they vote on Question 4 in November.


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