Don’t be fooled by greenwashing!
NRCM encourages you to vote NO on Question 2 and Question 4 on the November 3rd ballot. Your “No” vote is a vote that will help protect Maine’s environment.
Question 2 pretends to be a measure aimed at promoting the purchase of hybrid and high fuel efficiency vehicles. Don’t be fooled. Question 2 is a thinly veiled attempt to slash municipal budgets through reductions in excise taxes, in a fashion most likely to force towns to raise property taxes to cover necessary municipal services.
The measure would cut excise taxes on vehicles less than six years old, and eliminate for three years the excise tax on hybrid vehicles. But there are many hybrid vehicles that are not fuel efficient. The $70,000 Cadillac Escalade, for example, gets 18 miles per gallon. Why should the owner of such a vehicle get a tax break, when someone else with a 2001 Toyota that gets 36 miles per gallon gets no break? The Cadillac Escalade does nothing in the way of contributing to cleaner air, reducing fossil fuel consumption, or providing a cleaner environment.
The motor vehicle excise tax is a primary source of revenues for the upkeep, maintenance, and construction of more than 13,000 miles of local roads and over 800 bridges. If excise taxes are cut, then other taxes will need to be raised to provide for the infrastructure improvements that we all depend on. Safe, well-maintained roads cut down on erosion that can harm streams and cause other environmental problems.
Question 4, referred to as TABOR II, could weaken Maine’s natural resource agencies, damage the Land for Maine’s Future program, and block funding increases needed to weatherize Maine homes and boost energy independence.
TABOR was defeated by Maine voters twice before, in 2004 and in 2006. TABOR’s rigid and arbitrary formula would harm Maine’s efforts to protect our environment. It would immediately threaten Maine’s bond rating, which would directly impact the Land for Maine’s Future program. In addition, funding for Maine’s natural resource agencies, already at low levels, would continue to decline. Special revenue funding for programs like the Loon Conservation License Plate would be at significant risk, and it could be nearly impossible to increase funding for energy efficiency and weatherization programs that are needed to help protect Maine people from future increases in oil costs. TABOR also would curtail funding for K-12 education, health care, and other important programs. Question 4 is a direct threat to the progress we’ve made on environmental protection.
PLEASE VOTE NO ON QUESTION 2 and QUESTION 4.