A group of conservative activists have kicked off a petition drive in Maine to cap state and local government spending. The proposal would cap spending increases for state, county and municipal government at the rate of inflation, with an allowance for population growth. Exceeding the cap for state spending would require a two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature, and a majority vote for local governments. Maine votes will decide on a proposed 1 percent cap on property taxes. Bill Becker, executive director of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, who developed the TABOR language described the measures as a “one-two punch,” with one controlling spending and the other controlling revenue.
Geoffrey Segal is the director of privatization and government reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. He is also editor of Reason's Privatization Watch.