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Portland Islanders Give Secession Move Initial Nod

October 28, 1991

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Saying they are fed up with rising property taxes, residents of an island that has long been part of Maine’s largest city are taking the first step toward seceding.

Peaks Island residents voted 197-39 at a meeting Saturday to hold a referendum sometime next year. A bill to allow the residents to hold a November 1992 vote is being sent to the Legislature.

The islanders first talked of seceding in 1922, and the issue arose again five years ago.

Property taxes have doubled and tripled taxes for some residents of the island, which lies less than half a mile off Portland.

Russ Edwards, a resident, said a typical island homeowner with a property valued at $138,000 would pay $3,093 in property taxes to Portland under the city’s newest valuation, which triggered the secession movement.

Edwards said the local taxes would be roughly half that if the town is allowed to break away.

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