This session’s controversial water tax bill, LD 1569, An Act Regarding an Excise Tax on Water Extracted for Commercial Bottling, became Resolve chapter 185 without Governor Janet Mills’ signature. Sponsored by Rep. Lori Gramlich (D-Old Orchard), the bill was gutted and finally passed as a resolve to study the role of water as a resource in Maine.
The perennial tax haven legislation, LD 428, An Act to Prevent Tax Haven Abuse, sponsored by Rep. Denise Teppler (D-Topsham), passed as a Resolve, c. 170 without the Governor’s signature. The law directs Maine Revenue Services (MRS) to look at the impact on the State’s income tax and economy if Maine adopted worldwide combined reporting for corporations that are part of an affiliated group with members outside of the United States.
Bill would have imposed fees or local option taxes on Mainers’ second homes
In the Legislature, there’s always a first. That proved to be true for LD 1337, An Act to Increase Affordable Housing and Reduce Property Taxes Through an Impact Fee on Vacant Residences, otherwise known as the “Camp Tax” bill.
In the area of taxation policy, the 130th Maine Legislature will be known for many things, and perhaps submitting a record number of anti-business bills will be one of them. There were bills targeting Maine’s water industry and proposals to increase income tax rates, to tax more of Mainers’ estates, to impose local option taxes, and to tax Mainers’ camps, to name a few. While the past two years of the 130th Legislature have not been easy, the business community once again emerged from this session almost unscathed in taxation. LD 1129, the so-called “dark stores” bill, was the only anti-business bill to be passed along mostly party lines, with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing but without the Governor’s signature. The bill will prohibit assessors from considering deed restrictions, encumbrances, zoning restrictions, and other issues when valuing property with no such restrictions. The business community will no doubt challenge this issue next time around and submit a bill to reverse it.
In early May, Governor Janet Mills allowed LD 1969, An Act Concerning Equity in Renewable Energy Projects and Workforce Development, sponsored by Rep. Scott Cuddy (D-Winterport), to become law without her signature. The Maine State Chamber of Commerce joined a coalition of other business advocacy groups in both strongly opposing the bill during the legislative process, as well as urging Governor Mills to veto LD 1969. Despite these efforts, the bill still became law.
The Maine State Chamber is pleased to report that the Legislature passed LD 2030, An Act Regarding the Taxation of Energy Storage Facilities Equipment. Sponsored by Rep. Maureen Terry (D-Gorham), the bill became Public Law c. 758, without the Governor Janet Mills’ signature.