Maine Taxpayers Set to Vote on Tax Control

In November Maine taxpayers will get a chance to vote to limit government spending through TABOR reform.  The question "Do you want to limit increases in state and local government spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth and to require voter approval for all tax and fee increases?" will be asked to taxpayers.  Over time this proposal would lower taxes as incomes grow faster than inflation.  Maine Heritage Policy Center has more about the initiative at their website.
TABOR has been a resounding success elsewhere.  Although the tax and spend crowd is crowing about Colorado’s recent vote to raise spending, looking at the experience since enactment in 1992 is much more instructive about the success of the first state to enact TABOR reform.  Every year from 1993 to 1999 there was a ballot initiative either to raise taxes or increase spending beyond the TABOR limit, and all were defeated.  A Cato article reports that between 1997 and 2002 Colorado returned $3.2billion back to taxpayers from surpluses, cutting taxes more than any other state.  Personal income growth in Colorado was second highest in the nation between 1995 and 2000 as well.  Maine does not compare favorably to this record, with the highest state and local tax burden in the nation and a 34th place median household income ranking as opposed to Colorado’s 9th place ranking.