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Mainers to See Sales Tax Increase Starting Next Week

| September 27, 2013

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They’re two words that almost no one likes to hear… tax increase. But that’ll be a reality for all Mainers at the beginning of next week.

Robin McLellan of Mapleton says, “When I hear it’s going up its like oh my god..that’s crazy..that’s just crazy.”

According to the Maine Revenue Service, as of October 1st, general sales tax will rise from 5 percent to 5 point 5 percent – so you’re paying point 5 percent more in taxes on anything from a soda to alcohol to shampoo at a grocery store like Graves.

Trevor Graves, Assistant Customer Service Manager at Graves Shop N’ Save, says, “I don’t see customers really noticing much of a difference, it’s only going up from 5 percent to point 5 percent.”

But prepared foods at Graves – like rotisserie chickens and cooked lobster — will be going from 7 percent in taxes to 8 percent. That’s part of the increase in the meals-and-lodging tax in the state. Staying at a hotel, eating out at a restaurant, and maybe having a glass of wine with your meal will cost just a bit more.

Robb Miller, Operations Manager at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center “Some guests will notice but as it’s a 1 percent increase you’re talking about maybe a dollar.”

Miller says it will look like maybe an increase of 25 to 50 cents on the bill at a restaurant like Gram Russo’s. Graves says customers will also now be paying tax on newspapers and periodicals. So a newspaper that normally costs a dollar, will have you digging through your wallet for some extra change.

Graves says, “They’re pretty big. Some people are really into their tabloids, other people..Star Herald comes in every Wednesday and we sell a great number of those..and the Bangor Daily is here every day as well so we sell a fair amount of them.”

Robin says,”About four years ago you could come in here and you could spend 50 dollars on groceries..it would last two weeks, there’s only two of us..now I come in here with 150 and I’m barely making a week out of it..”

Regardless of what people think, the good news is the increase is only temporary – the Maine Revenue Service says it should only last through June of 2015.

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