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Taxation Without Representation: The Will To Secede - Rural Caribou Maine From Urban Caribou

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In recent news there is published an opinion by the editorial staff of the Bangor Daily News which typifies the propaganda nature that is prevalent across the Maine main stream media. The story offers an opinion on what it calls a lengthy report submitted by the secession committee of the rural sector of Caribou ,Maine which is petitioning the state to break it's association with the town of Caribou and to form a new township called Lyndon- it's reason, in a nut shell is taxation without representation, a case laid out in the report in great detail using facts backed up by statistics,  history and opinion.

Article I. Declaration of Rights.
Power inherent in people.  All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and instituted for their benefit; they have therefore an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it.

The Report  also quotes the requirements found  The law of CONSOLIDATION, SECESSION AND ANNEXATION, 30-A M.R.S. Sections2171-C & 2172  of the Maine State Statutes
But only one sentence from the Report , one sentence,referencing Portland is mentioned in the snarky editorial by the BDN Staff, which delivers a fact free lecture on how it is a collectivist community duty to pay taxes - no matter what- and don't expect to have a voice in how those taxes are distributed: 
Paying for services is what it means to be part of a community By The BDN Editorial Board
“We are rural fiscal conservatives and we renounce expensive municipal government and the high taxes that accompany it,” they write. “Caribou is becoming the Portland of the North and we choose not to be part of that change.”
A lengthy document put together by a group that wants to secede from the city of Caribou neatly summarizes a tension that has sprung up across the state: Rural residents believe they are unfairly being made to support the more developed parts of the state, and they resent it. ........................
Dissing Portland has long been a mantra of rural residents and lawmakers. Such thinking, however, ignores the fact that the greater Portland area accounts for more than half the state’s economic output ......
Worse, such an assessment makes it seem as if rural residents never go into cities or use their services. We doubt that is the case.
The rational presented above by the BDN editorial staff is pure collectivist ideology in which the state is a corporation whose interest - revenue produced for the corporation- via taxation- is the bottom line that the corporation and all the inhabitants in the corporations dominion must serve.

The link  lengthy document in the BDN opinion takes us to the Report By the Caribou Secession Committee but there are no comments in the comment section- no surprise there because when one clicks on the comment link it is dead !

The misleading title of the BDN editorial portrays the rural inhabitants of Caribou as not wanting to pay taxes. The Editors choose to selectively omit almost the entire content of the Report by the caribou Secession Representatives - which makes this clarifying statement:

WE ARE ALL FISCAL CONSERVATIVES! We are not backed by a political party, a large corporation or a wealthy benefactor. And, most importantly, we are NOT AGAINST reasonable taxation. We are registered voters defending ourselves from a city government that has for far too long, ignored the needs of the rural community and treats us as second class citizens. Even the 2014 Comprehensive Plan of the City of Caribou contains language that exposes their strong anti-rural bias.

The Report calls for reverting back to a Town  Meeting form of government amid an environment when the Maine media has been favoring the call by the state's would be central mangers of the economy to consolidate smaller towns into larger ones justified as being more sound fiscal management. The rural contingency of Caribou, Maine argues just the opposite- that the only way for rural Caribou to achieve sounder and fairer fiscal management is to secede from the urban compact of Caribou.

The most fairly presented coverage in the Maine main stream media is found in two sources thus far:

An article in the Bangor Daily News by staff writer  Christoper Burns gives equal consideration to both sides of the issue:
The article reveals that the people of Caribou, including its rural community are paying higher property taxes than in the city of Portland:

In 2014, the property tax rate for Long Island was $6.99 for every $1,000 in property value compared with $19.41 for Portland....... ( Long Island seceded from Portland in 1993)

The final numbers aren’t in, but Camping said that Lyndon could expect a property tax rate of $15.90 for every $1,000 in property value compared with Caribou’s tax rate of $22.30. That’s a 28 percent decrease that could mean huge savings for residents.
Maine Public Radio  reported on the upcoming meeting in which the Caribou Secession Committee presents its report: After that I found no further coverage by Maine's Public radio, which is under the jurisdiction of the Maine Legislature .

To find fair coverage of the secessionists issues one has to go beyond the Maine main stream media to a affiliate of the national station, Fox News, WGAM which has produced these two articles with an interview with the Caribou Secession Committee.

Oddly missing from a Google search is any coverage in Maine's premier main stream media newspaper, The Portland Press Herald There is minimal coverage by wcsh6 of Portland  announcing that Caribou wants to secede but the bias is evident in the way that facts are reported:

To secede from a town is a long process. It a starts with a petition of signatures. Back in March, the secession committee submitted more than 1,100 signatures, which led to Thursday's public hearing. The meeting will focus on the potential impact of the proposed secession and possible solutions. 
Bangor Daily News Report on the Secessionist obtaining their signatures:
When secessionists — expressing frustration with high taxes — first announced their intentions to the Caribou City Council in July of 2014, they estimated there were 2,063 registered voters in that part of the community they proposed become the town of Lyndon. The petition for a public hearing on the plan needed to contain the support of 1,096 voters — more than 50 percent of the registered voters in the area — before the proposal formally could be considered.
The Caribou Secession Committee submitted 1,315 signatures March 9, and Caribou city clerk Jayne Farrin verified in an email Monday she validated 1,198.
Notice that information per the number of registered voters in the rural sector is omitted from the WSCH TV reporting which then goes on to report the following:( in fairness after giving some space for secessionist views)
 Caribou's city manager, Austin Bleess, said he has heard that people do not want to secede from the city because they don't want to lose the services they have now. "Recent survey that the Council did last year at the election showed that the vast majority of people were okay paying the taxes that they do in order to have the services that we have," he said.
 Caribous city manager is manager of the current city of Caribou of which 69% live in the urban center. What does one expect them to say? The statement is made as if it is conclusive data that the rural sector does not support secession but if that were true why did the secessionists collect well above their fifty percentage of registered voters in the rural area target? The omitted facts and information in this story are intended to give a false impression.

Caribou is in close proximity to the state governed town of Lorring the elder sister of the state governed town of MRRA, both towns are chartered by the Maine legislature as municipal corporations serving as instrumentalities of the state  but are commonly referred to as economic development centers. As local corporations governed by the state neither the government of the town of Lorring nor the town of MRRA can provide municipal services since it is not a state function to provide municipal services (because it is not within state authority to govern municipal corporations) . Both towns receive massive subsidies from state and federal taxpayers, money spent within their own municipal borders. This begs the question : If these state governed local towns are really regional economic development centers- why are property taxes so high in Lorring's neighboring town of Caribou and why is the population of Caribou decreasing? With all that taxpayer money pouring into the near by regional economic development center of Lorring, shouldn't the population of Caribou be increasing? Is not Caribou part of the region that the town of Lorring serves in justification for all the taxpayer funding flowing into the town of Lorring ? Being that government by the inhabitants of the  municipality has been supplanted in the city-state of Lorring with government by the state- as in centralization of economic development management-, the town of Lorring cannot collect property taxes and cannot provide municipal services and so like the town of MRRA must be contracting for municipal services from another community which is governed locally.

The debate over Caribou's secession is being framed in the media as a confrontation between the two Maine's - rural Maine and urban Maine,. The economic development policy makers of Maine have  been advocating for more centralized government in Maine via merging local towns into singular regional communities- argued on the basis that this would be sounder fiscal management. Here comes Caribou, next door to a municipality that is being governed by the state and serves as a court for state central management headquarters. What a rich story and most likely I am the only voice bringing it up at this juncture, since I have never seen any other voices mentioning that a municipality, which by definition is local government cannot legally be an instrumentality of the state in the USA. It is such a glaringly obvious truth that I feel like the boy in the fable saying out-loud that the Emperor has no cloths and wondering why no one else is joining me in saying so.

An Apt Comment found on the BDN editorial
Wow. There really is not a lot to differentiate the BDN's opinion from medieval feudalism.
For society to function, the BDN urges the peasantry to make life comfortable for the lords and their whims. In return, the peasants get to believe they are being protected and cared for.
In reality, no one owns their property. It belongs to the "lord" who is elected by promising the land's wealth to a connected few.

Couldn't agree more !


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