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Posted: 10/20/2006 12:08:33 PM EST
Help me out & give me your opinions on it. Thanks!

I'd like to hear both sides if they exist. I myself am against as my position as a City engineer and pavement inspector rides on it's failing. After reading the bill in its entirety and being as unbiased as possible...I think it's a poorly written referendum that puts a wet blanket approach to limit government spending. More blatantly, I think it cuts spending on the local level when efforts should be focused on holding elected officials accountable for speaking for the people. I think elected officials should curb spending, not a mandated referendum capping spending by setting a maximum revenue through an inflation rate.

Your thoughts? How's TABOR worked in Colorado over the last ten years?
Link Posted: 10/20/2006 1:40:44 PM EST
Personally I like it. I have only been here for 10 years next month so I can not speak personally as to prior to that, but I understand the spending was out of control. In therory this keeps their spending curtailed. I have heard adds that state that there was a provision to allow for "emergency spending" and that they seem to have lumped may non-emergency measures into that. As a down side, there are many iniatives that show up on every ballot, many of the usual suspects needing more money (school distric 11 in the speings as an example).

-I work for a hospital and understand the job issues associated with lack of funding, but am for this staying in place. just my $0.02.
Link Posted: 10/20/2006 3:45:18 PM EST
It made sense during the years of economic expansion because it kept spending increases from going ballistic.

Problems came when the economy turned down & we were forced to make many painful cuts without being able to pick & choos which things to fund better.

Try this pdf link
Link Posted: 10/20/2006 7:40:20 PM EST
I think it saved us a lot of heartache in the last few years. During the 1990's, states without budget-growth limits saw their budgets balloon. Then, 9-11 happened along with a decline in state revenues. We had some unpleasant cuts to make too, but not nearly as bad as, say, California.

TABOR also isn't a flat ban on budget growth beyond previous-year plus population growth plus inflation. All TABOR requires is a simple majority popular vote to approve growth in excess of that. We actually had that on the ballot last year (called Referendum C, but I'm not going to rant about that until I'm a lot drunker). It suspended the limit on state budget growth for five or ten years and eliminated the TABOR refund for that period.

TABOR also doesn't prevent tax rate increases. It just requires the same simple majority vote. In 2004, it seemed like every school district in the metro area wanted a property tax increase, and pretty much all of them got it.

I was a city employee for a few years. TABOR didn't cause us too much of a problem. We did get our tax increases. We just needed to actually justify to the public why we needed the money. Considering that it's their money and their city, I didn't have too much problem with it.
Link Posted: 10/21/2006 3:01:32 AM EST
A big concern for me is that I'm a city engineer and inspector. My program & position is first on the chopping block if TABOR passes. Sucks...cause I do a good & honest job.
Link Posted: 10/21/2006 5:06:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/21/2006 5:07:08 PM EST by rtr]
TABOR is a good thing, it would help Maine, but only slightly. Maine's problem is the high state income tax, and worst of all the state tax on capital gains, those two things alone will continue to keep any significant business growth in Maine for occurring.
Link Posted: 10/21/2006 7:23:14 PM EST
Is TABOR currently suspended???
Link Posted: 10/22/2006 2:17:05 AM EST
If TABOR was so great why did Ref C pass? Maybe we could get a (Dem. Party TABOR) instead of the mess we had with the original TABOR bill. I'm all for holding spending in check and less government but with exceptions. Some programs and some parts of the government need to increase, not decrease and exceptions need to be put in place for unusual times. I agree that the government representatives need to be more responsible for holding the cost of doing business down, but lets get real. When was the last time responsible spending ever happened in any state?

This mess is our problem for letting gov. spending get out of control. We elect the most perfect people we can find to govern us and expect them to be reasonable. The so called perfect people have so called perfect insight and the results are crazy decisions and uncontrolled spending. The idea behind TABOR was a desperate attempt to get some form of control over gov. spending when maybe we should be voting the nut cases out who don't know what responsible government is.

Link Posted: 10/22/2006 3:49:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By mrbrooks3:
If TABOR was so great why did Ref C pass? Maybe we could get a (Dem. Party TABOR) instead of the mess we had with the original TABOR bill. I'm all for holding spending in check and less government but with exceptions. Some programs and some parts of the government need to increase, not decrease and exceptions need to be put in place for unusual times. I agree that the government representatives need to be more responsible for holding the cost of doing business down, but lets get real. When was the last time responsible spending ever happened in any state?

This mess is our problem for letting gov. spending get out of control. We elect the most perfect people we can find to govern us and expect them to be reasonable. The so called perfect people have so called perfect insight and the results are crazy decisions and uncontrolled spending. The idea behind TABOR was a desperate attempt to get some form of control over gov. spending when maybe we should be voting the nut cases out who don't know what responsible government is.



That's my personal take on TABOR and the reason I'm voting against on November 7 in the Maine polls. I think TABOR is like pointing the wrong gun and the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

What ever happened to holding elected officials accountable???
Link Posted: 10/22/2006 8:24:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/23/2006 7:45:22 AM EST by rtr]

A big concern for me is that I'm a city engineer and inspector. My program & position is first on the chopping block if TABOR passes. Sucks...cause I do a good & honest job.


I suspect this is the biggest reason your voting against TABOR. Try weening yourself from the gov't teet and see if that changes your perspective.

The idea of electing only responsible people sounds great, problem is it doesn't work, Even those who appear to be responsible seem to lose their spending restraint once they get into office.

Ref C was passed because the electorate had changed drastically in the 10 plus years since TABOR had passed and because the pro C folks had a ton more money to spend than the anti-C folks. Colorados economy will continue to worsen as a result of Ref C.

You have a wonderful chance in ME to do something good by passing TABOR, don't let the opportunity pass you by. If TABOR does not pass your state economy will continue to deteriorate.
Link Posted: 10/23/2006 4:22:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By rtr:

A big concern for me is that I'm a city engineer and inspector. My program & position is first on the chopping block if TABOR passes. Sucks...cause I do a good & honest job.


I suspect this is the biggest reason your voting against TABOR. Try weening yourself from the gov't teet and see if that changes your perspective.

The idea of electing only responsible people sounds great, problem is it doesn't work, Even those who appear to be responsible seem to lose their speding restraint once they get into office.

Ref C was passed because the electorate had changed drastically in the 10 plus years since TABOR had passed and because the pro C folks had a ton more money to spend than the anti-C folks. Colorados economy will continue to worsen as a result of Ref C.

You have a wonderful chance in ME to do something good by passing TABOR, don't let the opportunity pass you by. If TABOR does not pass your state economy will continue to deteriorate.


well said
All TABOR did was say "there are no further spending increases, unless voted into law that go faster than the rate of inflation plus the rate of population increase"
Since costs can't go up any faster than that, in a well run government (I crack myself up) it should have no impacts on anything currently existing.

Colorado and denziens passed many tax increases and many they did not. It also says that any money collected in excess of last years amount plus population and inflation's increase must be returned. For a couple years in teh late 90's we were getting 100's of dollars back each. They finally cut the income tax rate like .5% to cover that. Nothing has been cut.
It's an excellent law that honestly probably doesn't go far enough.
Link Posted: 10/23/2006 1:09:17 PM EST
I spent 95% of my adult life working in the private sector so I'm all set in separating myself from suckin' off the government teet, but thanks for assuming. I posted here because I wanted pro-tabor responses considering the membership here is primarily conservative. That said, I find your responses interesting. I don't think Maine's economy, geography, demographics, democratic (unfortunately) tendencies, etc etc allow for an apples to apples comparison with Colorado, but I do think the formula is the same.

I'm most curious in the details of the bill, ie the wet blanket approach to limiting gov't spending whilst allowing the local governments freedom to manage themselves without hunting for voter approval. In some cases a $5 dog license fee increase isn't worth the $100k in media communications to deliver the pro/con information to every registered voter. Beyond that, it seems cumbersome and largely inefficient.

As much as we can denounce the existence of 'efficient' government, managing government spending should, IMHO, be done with a scalpel, not a meat axe.
Link Posted: 10/23/2006 5:34:46 PM EST
Speaking of Maine... (hijack alert)

How do you like the clean elections act?
Link Posted: 10/23/2006 6:03:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By 2ndChildhood:
Speaking of Maine... (hijack alert)

How do you like the clean elections act?


About as much as I enjoy TABOR if I had to attach an emotion to it
Link Posted: 10/23/2006 7:27:11 PM EST
First you said "A big concern for me is that I'm a city engineer and inspector. My program & position is first on the chopping block if TABOR passes. Sucks...cause I do a good & honest job."

But then said "I spent 95% of my adult life working in the private sector so I'm all set in separating myself from suckin' off the government teet, but thanks for assuming."

I wasn't assuming anything, just going by what you said. Personal interest is something that often motivates people at the polls, I think I'd be hard pressed to vote for something that I knew was going to eliminate my job. But on a scale larger than you in terms of what is good for your state as a whole voting for TABOR is a good idea.

However, as previously stated your states real problems lie elsewhere, without changes to those maine will continue to fail to attract significant business activity.
Link Posted: 10/24/2006 4:26:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hokie:
I spent 95% of my adult life working in the private sector so I'm all set in separating myself from suckin' off the government teet, but thanks for assuming. I posted here because I wanted pro-tabor responses considering the membership here is primarily conservative. That said, I find your responses interesting. I don't think Maine's economy, geography, demographics, democratic (unfortunately) tendencies, etc etc allow for an apples to apples comparison with Colorado, but I do think the formula is the same.

I'm most curious in the details of the bill, ie the wet blanket approach to limiting gov't spending whilst allowing the local governments freedom to manage themselves without hunting for voter approval. In some cases a $5 dog license fee increase isn't worth the $100k in media communications to deliver the pro/con information to every registered voter. Beyond that, it seems cumbersome and largely inefficient.

As much as we can denounce the existence of 'efficient' government, managing government spending should, IMHO, be done with a scalpel, not a meat axe.


so,
A. why do dog's need to be licensed? do they drive cars? What exactly motivates a government BESIDES CONTROL AND MONEY to license animals?
b. They can't find $5 somewhere else to fund it? It's called making priorities, the same thing that most private individuals do, but governments never can.
c. Tell me the last time a government (any one) cut taxes and spent less than they had to?

TABOR doesn't go far enough.
Link Posted: 10/24/2006 6:52:49 AM EST
"As much as we can denounce the existence of 'efficient' government, managing government spending should, IMHO, be done with a scalpel, not a meat axe."

In an idealistic sense I agree completely. But the time for being able to sugically cut with a scalpel is long gone I am afraid. Government at all levels is bloated and way out of control when it comes to spending. The bueracratic machine needs to continue to grow and expand its influence in order to justify its existance. Therefore the citizens of Colorado decided to use the meat cleaver in an attempt to get ahold of an out of control expanding govenment at the state, and to a lesser degree, local levels. Does it work perfectly by not harming programs that are generally agreed to be essential, no. But I do think that it has done more good than harm.
You are in an obvious tough spot on this as your job/livlehood could be potentialy adversly affected. So you therefore have a two sided argument. On one hand you want/need to preserve your job regardless of state budgetary concerns. And on the other hand you have a philisophical argument on what is the place of govenment. It is the classic case of conservative minded people thinking that government should be limited in its scope and responsibility, and liberal minded people who believe that government is a proper solution to most if not all of societies "problems".
I hope that my ramblings give you some perspective, and by the way, I support tabor, and like BozemanMT, do not think that it goes far enough.
Link Posted: 10/24/2006 7:28:32 AM EST
Don't let them scare you!
When TABOR was first up for election, they said our fire & police departments would have to shut down.
Instead what it did was that local & state goverment had to ask voters if they wanted extra money. Sometimes these fund requests pass, sometimes they don't.

Ref. C passed which allows the extra money to be spent on goverment for a few years passed last year and now tons of pork barrel road construction is going on everywhere.

I can't wait for Ref. C to expire.
Link Posted: 10/24/2006 7:30:10 AM EST
I like TABOR but like several others, do not think it goes far enough.


The .gov types would not want me to write the legislation


The idiots that voted for Ref C can kiss my XXX!

Colorado needs to drop the Champange taste for the Beer budget.....
Link Posted: 10/24/2006 11:34:55 AM EST
interesting perspective fellas, thanks for sharing your take on it

I know how I'll be voting!
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 6:42:42 AM EST
TABOR, is just what it says it is, a taxpayer bill of rights. Goverment needs to be controlled or they will take over everything. In my neighborhood, YMCA and fitness clubs are closing because Arvada builds these state of the art fitness centers. How can private enterprise compete with something built with taxpayer funds?
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 12:27:59 PM EST
what's Arvada?
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 6:00:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hokie:
what's Arvada?


A suburb NW of Denver. I just want to remind you that TABOR doesn't cut gov't revenues, it just allows taxpayers to receive back the excess tax revenues. I remember twice receiving refunds of $300 per year since TABOR passed.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 3:38:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By SS109:

Originally Posted By Hokie:
what's Arvada?


A suburb NW of Denver. I just want to remind you that TABOR doesn't cut gov't revenues, it just allows taxpayers to receive back the excess tax revenues. I remember twice receiving refunds of $300 per year since TABOR passed.


It DOES cut revenues by capping revenue to a set rate of inflation...right, wrong, or indifferent. That's what's happening in Maine anyway.
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 8:44:54 AM EST

It DOES cut revenues by capping revenue to a set rate of inflation...right, wrong, or indifferent. That's what's happening in Maine anyway.


A cut is a reduction, there are no reductions with TABOR, the budget grows every year under TABOR, it reduces the rate of growth to a rate lower than that previously in place.
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 9:55:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2006 10:04:20 AM EST by Hokie]

Originally Posted By rtr:

It DOES cut revenues by capping revenue to a set rate of inflation...right, wrong, or indifferent. That's what's happening in Maine anyway.


A cut is a reduction, there are no reductions with TABOR, the budget grows every year under TABOR, it reduces the rate of growth to a rate lower than that previously in place.


semantics...

City programs, social services, education, and public service will suffer regardless because life doesn't operate on a fixed rate of growth. Some programs need MORE than what inflation will allow. Some programs, yes...they can do with LESS. Absoultely. Still, some programs will suffer as you can't upheave and rework a municapility in one year. It's not a system that can handle such change.

Looking at Colorado's situation, TABOR is riddled with imperfections...so much that it's suspended so everyone can catch up! That, and all I see is ads & statements regarding bad stats in CO. So I'm expected to vote for a bad plan in absence of a good one???

Again, I'm presenting what I percieve to be the arguements against TABOR. I'm usually a conservative voter, but this TABOR bill really makes me want to vote the other way...at least this time. I just don't know if I agree with the approach to limit government spending, my position aside.

Cut spending with a scalpel, not a meat axe. Hell in some areas money needs to increase. I just don't think the City of Portland for example needs to spend $100,000 in media expenses to advertise a pro & con to every registered voter...

Are we taking the work out of being a self-educated voter now too? America is becoming too reliant on legislation, special interest, and the like....and too far removed from being accountable...and duely important, holding their elected representatives accountable...
Link Posted: 10/28/2006 1:06:46 PM EST
As a tax receiver, I can't expect you to vote for TABOR. It might hurt your pocketbook.
But 20 years of leaving under TABO and the only hiccup was 9/11, which Colorado responded to much better than other states because our goverment bodies were used to operating under a tight budget.

But trust me, firemen weren't laid off. Police still had fuel and resources to respond to crimes.
And Colorado the statehad incredible growth in business & population because people knew they weren't being taxed to the gills.

In this day of massive federal pork barrel projects, it is nice to see Colorado with some restraint.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 7:51:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 11:35:29 AM EST by Hokie]

Originally Posted By SS109:
As a tax receiver, I can't expect you to vote for TABOR. It might hurt your pocketbook.


Well now, that's an ignorant statement. That's the problem with most conservative voters, they can't see the world from an objective point of view.

In Colorado- the only state with a TABOR, voters decided in November 2005 to suspend their TABOR amendment for five years so that the state could begin restoring cuts in public services and avoid making even more drastic cuts.


But trust me, firemen weren't laid off. Police still had fuel and resources to respond to crimes.
And Colorado the statehad incredible growth in business & population because people knew they weren't being taxed to the gills.


Of course the firefighters kept their jobs - as did the police. Those services are kept status quo for obvious reasons. However, I'd like to see you show some stats highlighting 1994 where cuts were made in other programs to see that those areas of public service stayed funded. I'd start by investigating social services, education, and public works. Additionally, most if not all public works monies stem from sewer fees and the like, not property taxes or sales taxes. Your fire departments and police departments are set entities, you may cap their growth, but no of them will lose their jobs. TABOR misconception #1. My guess is the lot of you have no idea how to manage a municipality or the efforts involved in allocating taxpayer revenue. If only life worked off of a set rate of inflation - that'd be so much easier! Alas, life doesn't work that way. Nor does the education system, social services, public works (I'll take that back if CO found a way to cap international petroleum pricing).

Listen all you revolutionists, I couldn't possibly care less how you CO folks feel about me, but this TABOR nonsense is so poorly written. It's the wrong gun pointed at the wrong problem. All I wanted from this thread is your opinion on the topic of TABOR, not to get into a political debate like so many of you consertative extremists are trying to do here. I find that most people that can't look at things objectively tend to spout off at the mouth as you are with phrases like "limit government spending!" without knowing the first thing about managing infastructure or the unfortunate realities of a wet blanket approach of attaching a fixed rate of inflation (plus growth) to public service.

Hurt my pocketbook? That's completely stupid. It's YOUR pocketbook. In public service, I work for the taxpayer. I don't see it working very well in Colorado (did I mention it was suspended?), and I don't see how it could work at all in Maine. Keep your comments on the pros and cons of TABOR and keep your shit slinging at bay. Thanks.

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 4:36:22 PM EST
And one last note about TABOR, the MSM hates it, so don't expect honest articles about its effects.

My wife works for the state, workman's comp fund, one friend works as a civil engineer for a county, another friend works privately as a civil engineer, most of their projects are gov't funded. Another works for the Denver city gov't.
None of them have been laid off or lost their jobs since Tabor was passed. And most have more work than they can handle. But many of these organizations have trimmed a lot of the dead wood that gov't has trouble ridding itself of. (My wife loves that most of the slackers are gone.)

This might be becaus Colorado isn't going through an economy as bad as Maines, but I just think you should be very distrustful of the media interpetations of this ballot issue.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 4:43:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By SS109:
And one last note about TABOR, the MSM hates it, so don't expect honest articles about its effects.

My wife works for the state, workman's comp fund, one friend works as a civil engineer for a county, another friend works privately as a civil engineer, most of their projects are gov't funded. Another works for the Denver city gov't.
None of them have been laid off or lost their jobs since Tabor was passed. And most have more work than they can handle. But many of these organizations have trimmed a lot of the dead wood that gov't has trouble ridding itself of. (My wife loves that most of the slackers are gone.)

This might be becaus Colorado isn't going through an economy as bad as Maines, but I just think you should be very distrustful of the media interpetations of this ballot issue.


I agree with you 100% there! I'm exagerating when I say my job is in jeopardy. My role is fortunately one of the critical ones, but there would be budget cuts within the engineering department of public works. Mostly with the involvement of outside consultants...but it'd spill over into my neck of the woods too if push came to shove...or, year 2 or 3 of a TABOR environment as costs rise and inflation doesn't keep up. I see where the dead wood is, and that'd go first.

Maine's economy does suck. It also sucks how much I pay in taxes. It also sucks that I subsidize half of Maine's welfare through my hard work. I could go on and on and on....

I just don't think TABOR is the right approach. More specifically, I wish there was something instead to give some sort of TABOR type legislation but let the local municipalities set the degree. I don't think what's good in Caribou is good in Portland, for example. Maine is a poor venue for such a system.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 4:01:10 AM EST
Good luck with whatever happens in Maine.

I usually like Direct Democracy that is willing to vote on issues the legislature won't touch, but sometimes my fellow citizens will pass stupid legislation, like Ammendment C. At least they were smart enough not to pay of the Bond daddies with Ammendment D too.
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