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Maine sales, meals and lodging taxes increase Oct. 1

Staff Reports

    If you’re planning to buy a big-ticket item this fall, it might be wise to make your purchase before Oct. 1 when Maine’s sales tax temporarily increases from 5 to 5.5 percent.
    While a half-percent doesn’t seem like much for the everyday purchase, it can add up to more than pocket change when you’re buying a $1,000 washer-dryer combination or $22,000 pickup truck.

    On the laundry room appliances, you’ll save $5 if you buy before Oct. 1. But the difference in taxes for the pickup purchase is $1,210 compared to $1,100 or enough for quite a few fill-ups.
    Also, if you’re used to saving a few bucks by making purchases online, a new bill passed by the Maine Legislature now extends the same sales tax collection requirements to online companies that apply to brick-and-mortar retailers in the state.
    On a smaller scale, newspapers and periodicals sold in Maine will be subject to sales tax for the first time starting Oct. 1.
    An increase in the state meals and lodging tax will also take effect Oct. 1, rising from 7 percent to 8 percent. So a $40 dinner for two that used to be $42.80 will go up a little to $43.20. The $109 motel room in Bangor that currently costs $116.63 will go up to $117.72.
    If there’s any consolation, Maine’s meal and lodging taxes will still be lower than New Hampshire and Vermont, which are both 9 percent.

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