You are invited to attend the Cumberland Taxpayers Association meeting being held in Council Chambers on Monday, March 29, at 7PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to set forth an action plan that ultimately results in responsible spending at the local level. Current members of the Cumberland Taxpayers Association see both the school budget vote on May 20, 2004, and the upcoming statewide tax cap referendum question (also known as the Carol Palesky measure or Maine Taxpayers Association ballot question) as impacts on local spending and property taxes.

Primary topics to be discussed include the proposed approximate 9% increase in the Cumberland school budget for 2004-2005 and the citizens initiated tax cap referendum ballot question. Subtopics will include What this means to you, the property taxpayer, and What you can do at the local level to control your property taxes.

The first thing you need to do is take an interest and then, take control. For example - The proposed school budget alone (ie excluding the municipal budget) means an increase in your property taxes of about $1.50 per thousand. So if your annual taxes were $5,400, they will increase $450 to $5,850; if they were $7,200, they will increase about $600 to $7,800; if they were $11,000, they will increase about $1,000 to $12,000, and so forth. You have the control - you have the option to vote or not - the choice is yours.

The Cumberland Taxpayers Association has expressed a willingness to hold a public meeting on Chebeague if there is sufficient interest. For those unable to attend Monday's meeting on the mainland and who would attend a similar meeting on the island, please email no later than Friday, April 2. Your information will be submitted to the Cumberland Taxpayers Association and a member of that group will contact you directly if a meeting will take place on Chebeague.

For those of you who have not heard or read the current status of LD 938, known as the Maine Land Bank bill - An overwhelming majority of the Taxation Committee voted in November to kill the bill. A minority voted to pass it with amendments. Those amendments meant severely restricting the number of Maine citizens who could voluntarily participate in the Program and fund the Program.

So the Land Bank bill, even if passed as amended by the larger body of legislators, was rendered essentially ineffective and useless to the vast numbers of property taxpayers who need it most. That shows how your legislators represent you - NOT! Although we were assured in November by the Speaker of the House, Pat Colwell, and other legislators that we Land Bank proponents would be invited to participate in upcoming tax reform meetings, we have heard not a peep. That shows how trusted your legislators' words are - NOT!

Unless you are willing to see Maine's people, landscapes, traditions, and heritage disappear forever over the next few short years - unless you are ready to subject yourself, your family, and your neighbors to the cruel realities of being forced from your homes and businesses because of fair market value and unconscionable spending at the local and state levels - unless you believe your legislative leadership will make good on its word for a change - I strongly urge you to take a stand now. Start by attending the meeting on Monday.

You have the control - you have the option - the choice is yours - your future and your family's future are in your hands.
Save Our Island & Maine Land Bank Committees