WILTON — Expecting passage of two November ballot questions that could result in either cuts in the town budget or an increase in the town’s tax rate, selectmen unanimously took a stand Tuesday against both the excise tax initiative and the TABOR II question.

The motor vehicle excise tax measure would cut approximately $220,000 in revenue for the town, Town Manager Rhonda Irish told the board. That money is used for such things as repair and maintenance of 60 miles of road and four bridges.

In its resolution, the board noted its concern about LD 974, an act to decrease the automobile excise tax and promote energy efficiency. Although the excise tax does not cover all of Wilton’s road maintenance costs, Irish said, it could mean either future cuts in the town’s budget or an increase in the tax rate. In addition, there would be no benefit for owners of cars five years or older, she said.

A person owning an $80,000 Cadillac would pay no excise tax but someone with a Ford Focus would have to pay if the bill is passed, said Selectman Tom Saviello. It’s also not a green bill as presented, he said.

The board noted in its resolution that the “initiative is falsely presented as a ‘green’ initiative while at the same time seriously impairing the capacity of the towns and cities in Maine to construct and maintain road systems that appropriately protect Maine’s water quality.”

Likewise, the board agreed to oppose the Taxpayer Bill of Rights or TABOR II, a modified version of TABOR rejected by Maine voters in 2006.

According to the resolution, the board opposes the TABOR II question because spending and tax levy limits set by current state law are working. Under the 2005 law, towns are limited by how much property taxes may increase. A town vote is required to exceed that limit. Since adopted, current municipal property taxes are below targeted levels, according to the resolution.

TABOR II will require statewide voter approval for all tax and expenditure increases, which could mean additional state and local election costs, along with costs for required mailings to every registered voter with information about the referendum.

The resolution also encourages residents to be informed about the ballot questions.

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