Augusta (November 26, 2013) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today is urging legislators to reject a proposal being advanced by the Tax Expenditure Review Task Force that would impose a 5.5 percent sales tax on recreational and personal services that are currently exempt.
“The problem with this idea is that it focuses exclusively on what’s good for government and not at all on what’s good for taxpayers or the economy,” said NFIB State Director David Clough. “Mainers pay enough taxes and instead the Legislature should be focused on growing the economy which will, in turn, produce more revenue.”
The Task Force is recommending that the sales tax be extended to include recreational activities, amusements and personal services. Ski lift tickets, movies, fitness services and many more “discretionary” services including haircuts would be taxed, under the proposal. Many of those industries are dominated small and family-owned businesses in Maine that are essential to the state’s economy, said Clough.
“At a time when we are told that Maine needs more businesses, more jobs, and more workers, a legislative task force tells us we need more taxes on small businesses and their customers. That moves us in exactly the wrong direction,” he said.
Clough said that policymakers in Augusta should be focused on right-sizing government at every level to free up the private economy to create jobs and opportunities for Mainers.
“It is long past time for legislators to rearrange their priorities. Jobs and economic growth must become their top priority or else there will be endless battles over higher taxes and spending,” he said. “Proposing new taxes on Maine residents and services primarily provided by small businesses is absolutely a formula for economic trouble.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com/maine.