Maine House Embraces Internet Sales Tax
- Jun 4, 2013 | Gail Cole
Most Maine lawmakers want the state to collect online sales tax. The House recently voted 128-10 in favor of legislation that would “require the collection of sales tax by any business making sales to persons in Maine.” L.D. 346 now returns to the Senate, where it previously received unanimous support.
This is not the first time lawmakers in Maine have tried to enact remote sales tax legislation, but their efforts have been stymied by the governor. Earlier this year, Governor Paul LePage (R) Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SST)…” He cited concerns that the state would become bogged down in bureaucracy if it joined SST.
Yet Governor LePage supports the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, noting that it “has particular merit for the people of Maine.” He believes that “unequal taxation between various sales channels… is best addressed at the federal level ….” Such an attitude doesn’t bode well for L.D. 346.
Under L.D. 346, the Office of Fiscal and Program Review would examine the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement and identify “options available to Maine” should the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 be adopted. Streamlined states are well situated to take advantage of federal remote sales tax legislation if it passes. Currently, Maine’s sales tax laws “don’t conform to the terms of the agreement.”
Whether it joins SST or not, Maine will have to simplify its tax laws in order to take advantage of Marketplace Fairness as it is currently written.
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