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Wednesday, Dec. 17, 10:39 a.m.
Editorials | Opinion

Endorsement: No on 2, Yes on 3: Mainers must be critical of bonds

On Nov. 2, Maine voters will draw the curtains of their respective booths closed behind them and, armed with only a black marker, take to two bonds.

Such bonds won’t be found drinking martinis or donning finely pressed tuxedos, but they will possess some similarities with the members of her majesty’s secret service, most notably, the numerous zeros in a name.

Following the Casino Royale citizens’ initiative of Question 1 on the 2010 ballot, two bond issues vying to better Maine’s dental industry or to ensure the preservation of the state’s forests, parks and waterfronts await hoping to seduce a yes from the voter’s hand. While both issues vow to bring positive changes to Maine, they each come with a significant price tag.

Question 2 proposes a $5 million bond to be allocated to upgrading and teaching dental medicine in college institutions across the state, while Question 3 proposes a $9.75 million investment for the upkeep of natural resources.

Knowing that a bond borrows revenue from property tax and sales tax to be paid back over the course of 10 years at 4.5 percent interest yearly, the marking of the yes box on the ballot for either of these questions would be the equivalent of signing a lease or mortgage with every other Mainer living or intending to live in the state — the bill will essentially be ours to pay back.

Therefore, it’s imperative Mainers make the right investment and cut out what they do not need. When thinking of the Pine Tree State, the Vacationland of the American nation, are you more apt to picture the green paradise of Acadia National Park or a dentist scraping away at excess plaque?

With that answer in mind, is it really wise to sign onto something that will amount to $6,237,500 by the time it is finally paid off, especially when the strongholds of that industry lie elsewhere?

Although the bond issue of Question 3 will cost Mainers a grand total of $12,163,125 by the end of ten years, it’s wholly worth it to maintain a staple of Maine. The additional sum of Question 2 though, is hardly worth the trouble when only a small, selective group are benefiting from a large sum of money contributed by every Maine taxpayer.

Clearly, the problem here is hardly the borrowing of the expenses, but rather what it is you are borrowing for. So when faced with the ballot and two smooth-talking, pricey bonds on election day, go for the favorite for all of Maine and leave the other out of the franchise.

Vote no on Question 2 and yes on Question 3 and enjoy the natural Maine you’ve grown to love.

And remember to brush before bed.