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Maine Consumer Tax Laws

All states collect some variety of consumer taxes, such as liquor and gambling taxes, to help pay for schools, infrastructure needs, and other shared state resources. Most states, including Maine, also levy sales tax on retail transactions.

Maine State Retail Sales Tax Laws

Retail sales tax is the state of Maine's principal tax source. Businesses making retail sales in Maine collect sales tax from their customers on tangible personal property items and some services. Maine's general sales tax rate is 5.5 percent. The state also levies charges of 8 percent on prepared food, lodging and liquor. The tax on short-term car rentals is 10 percent.

Maine Sales Tax Exempt Organizations

The state offers specific exemptions for a number of different kinds of organizations and institutions, such as hospitals, schools, churches and libraries. You can find a list of organizations for which there may be a Maine Sales Tax exemption on the state's Revenue website.

For What Services Do I Need to Pay Taxes in Maine?

You will have to pay sales tax on the following services:

  • Extended cable and extended satellite television service;
    Fabrication services;
  • Rental of video media and video equipment;
  • Rental of furniture, audio media and audio equipment;
  • Telecommunications service;
  • The installation, maintenance or repair of telecommunications equipment;
  • Private non-medical institution services
  • Community support services
  • Day rehabilitation services
  • Personal support services
  • Residential training services

Exceptions To The Sales Tax Requirement

In some limited circumstances, a consumer may not have to pay retail sales tax in Maine. For instance, there isn't a tax on groceries and prescription drugs.

The highlights of Maine's consumer tax laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for more articles and resources.

Sales Tax 5.5 percent, Tit. 36 §§1811, 1861, Food and prescription drugs are exempt
Cigarette Tax 6 percent unless otherwise agreed (Tit. 9-B §432)
Gasoline Tax per Gallon 30¢ Tit. 36 §2903
Use Tax 5.5 percent, Tit. 36 §1861
Liquor Tax 8 percent
Gambling Tax Gambling facilities are taxed at a rate of one (1) percent of all gross gaming revenues, plus 39 percent of net revenues

Here the term "mills" means one one-thousandth of a dollar, so 10 mills = 10 one-thousandths of a dollar, or.01.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Maine tax attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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