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July 2, 2006

Downsizing Augusta

We at DownsizeDC.org can’t be everywhere at once. Except in extraordinay circumstances, it is not appropriate or poosible for us to get involved in state and local politics. As the name of our organization indicates, our focus is on reducing the size of the federal government in Washington, DC.

But we do applaud and cheer the “downsizing” of government at any level. In Maine, the citizens have succeeded in putting on the November ballot a referendum a “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.” As the Portland Press Harold Reports,

The citizen-initiated referendum, commonly known by the acronym TABOR, would limit spending increases at all levels of government, generally tying them to formulas based on inflation and population, or inflation and school enrollment.

The ballot question also would make it harder for state, county and local governments to raise taxes and fees by creating a two-step process to do so. First, a lawmaking body, such as the state Legislature or a town council, would have to approve a tax or fee increase by a two-thirds vote. Then, voters would have to ratify that decision by majority vote.

The initiative includes provisions that would split excess government revenue between government savings accounts and tax relief.

The Press Harold suggests that this will be the biggest race in the fall – bigger than the governor and U.S. Senate races!

If your community or state is doing something to “downsize” spending, taxes, or regulations, we’d be happy to hear about it! Leave a comment on this post, or email me at jameswilson@downsizedc.org.

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