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AUGUSTA--On Monday, February 4, 2002, Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will announce the results of the certification of the citizen initiative entitled "An Act to Impose Limits on Real and Personal Property Taxes" and more commonly referred to as the Tax Cap Initiative.
The petition was filed with the Secretary of State in October 2001, and has been under review the last several weeks to determine if enough valid signatures have been filed to submit the citizen initiated legislation to the Maine Legislature. The Maine Constitution requires the Secretary of State to make his ruling by February 27, 2002.
The direct initiative process is set forth in the Maine Constitution and allows citizens to propose bills for consideration by the Legislature through the petition process. Petitioners seeking to utilize this democratic process must collect signatures of Maine voters that represent 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. Currently, this figure is 42,101.
If the petition is successful in obtaining the needed signatures, then the following question will be put before the voters, unless the Legislature adopts the initiated legislation:
Do you want to limit property taxes to 1% of the assessed value of the property?
This is the third attempt by a citizen group known as the Maine Taxpayers Action Network to file a petition on this issue. Attempts in 1996 and 1998 were not successful in obtaining the necessary signatures to place the legislation before the Maine Legislature and ultimately before Maine voters.