The May 24 Bangor Daily News beat “Does Accumulated Abundance Pay?” is a agilely buried political attack which could leave Maine association and families vulnerable.
The allotment claimed that Maine gives out $6.6 billion in accumulated abundance tax break to businesses every two years.This is a misstatement, which the cardboard after clarified. Read the state’s 2009 address at www.state.me.us/revenue/research/tax_expenditure_report_09.pdf. It was produced by the previous Legislature’s Democratically controlled Tax Committee.
A brief glance at the address shows that abounding of the tax expenditures are for basic articles all-important for the actual adaptation of Maine’s residents.
Take, for example, the about $160 actor in sales tax not calm on “grocery staples” or the $16 million in “residential water” taxes the address includes as allotment of its tax expenditures. These are but two of hundreds of examples of articles purchased by individuals that are not burdened by the accompaniment of
Maine. In fact, the address itself identifies “necessity of life” for the “grocery staples” and “residential water” exemptions.
Just abrading the apparent of this address shows abounding added exemptions on articles Maine bodies depend upon: diabetic supplies, medical insurance, residential electricity, bloom affliction expenditures and on and on.
A blueprint of expenditures targeted for Maine bodies with low assets accepting Medicare, Social
Security or affliction allowances totals about $500 million. These individuals are not corporations and these exemptions are not accumulated welfare.
There are added examples of how ambiguous the beat was. The address identifies added than $1.5 billion in appurtenances and casework purchased by Maine association or nonprofits that Maine does not appoint a sales tax on. To analyze purchases fabricated by our libraries or hospitals as accumulated abundance is absurd.
To affirmation that the $300 actor amount appear because accompaniment and bounded governments do not pay sales tax to themselves is “corporate welfare” is a aperture of the accessible trust.
The address the BDN cited shows aloof over 10 percent or about $700 actor in business affairs that the accompaniment had not yet begin a way to tax. The actual about $6 billion in tax break allowances Maine bodies and nonprofits.
Among these $700 actor in “business tax break and reductions” are sales tax exemptions on articles acclimated by farmers, baits acclimated by fisherman, credits for commitment of affection adolescent affliction and electricity captivated by manufacturers that apply Maine people.
Many of Maine’s business tax expenditures are targeted against baby businesses. The owners of these businesses are our accompany and neighbors — they are advantageous their allotment of taxes. The basal accuracy of this address is that accompaniment government has begin a way to tax around all aspects of accomplishing business in Maine except the tax break illustrated in this report.
There is a albatross for government to baby-sit these expenditures, but to present an absolute cosmos of tax exemptions for Maine bodies and baby businesses as some array of advertisement is wrong.
A Maine citizen not advantageous tax back they ample a bottle of baptize from their faucet, acquirement groceries, medicine or activity is not accepting accumulated welfare.
But actuality is the kicker: One archetype of these alleged accumulated abundance tax break is a tax reduction for the BDN themselves.
The Bangor Daily News and the added associates of Maine’s bi-weekly industry accept almost
$9 actor in accumulated abundance through Maine law, 36 M.R.S.A. § 1760.14, and the acumen for the
sales tax absolution is angel the acquirement of “any advertisement consistently issued.”
This is not to acknowledgment the added than a actor accustomed by Maine’s newspapers through the anatomy of advertisements paid for by the taxpayers, advertisements for which the bi-weekly industry is currently lobbying in Augusta to accumulate in these boxy times.
For the record, we are not suggesting a sales tax on newspapers should be imposed, or that it is somehow “corporate welfare.” However, with this ambiguous editorial, the BDN is accomplishing aloof that.
Jason Savage is controlling administrator of Maine Bodies Before Politics, www.MainePeopleBeforePolitics.com.
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