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Old 10-06-2012, 11:42 PM
 
17,158 posts, read 22,161,261 times
Reputation: 31223

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
Yes, I like the Trenton Marketplace too. You're right about Ron and Launa. When Launa's dad owned Larry's Pastry, that was one of my favorite places to go--everything was good, but I loved the brownies. Maybe we should start a thread about successful local businesses in Maine....no national chains....no big national box types. Marden's is a "box," but it's a Maine business so we can count them.

It was a shame that Paperbacks went out of business; they were around for a long time...one of my favorite stores ...digital books didn't help them.

good idea about the local business thread, we could include restaurants too

mardens- they do seem to be a maine business, I dont believe there are any outside of maine.

when did all the big box chains come to maine????
when the blue-laws were abolished and sunday sales opened up.....then the walmarts came-
the same maine businesses that were loud advocates to abolish the blue laws- to gain more weekly sales, have been steam-rolled by the big box stores- once the floodgates were open.

of course many people were for sunday sales- only seems like common sense- but I remember thinking Id like to register my car on a sunday....... but nooooo,,,the state was shut down on weekends-
my friends at the time, that wanted sunday sales,,,,of course had sundays off...
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Maine
60 posts, read 321,410 times
Reputation: 51
Default Why didn't everyone get the letter?

Why didn't everyone get the letter? I have a co-worker that asked around and he's the only one that got it. You'd think that if Maine Revenue Service was going after this tax, that you'd see more letters and information via the news.

And expect folks to remember that they bought underwear at Amazon 6 years ago? Or that someone bought a $10 mug in New Hampshire?

Do you know how this will be enforced? Can they look at your credit card statements, or have access into your Amazon account to see what was purchased over the last 6 years?

I didn't get the letter (and even if one did, they didn't have you sign for it). I suspect that many of these will just go into the round file.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,472 posts, read 2,610,066 times
Reputation: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catras View Post
I have never heard of a use tax and there is no way they can enforce it. Is the state going to come to your residence and demand to look through your closets?

I live in state that does not have any sales tax. I have bought things from LL Bean online and have not paid Maine sales tax on it. I have bought in the store in Freeport and I am sure I paid sales tax on that. If I go across the state line into Washington I pay sales tax and have to pump my own gas.
You are being naive if you think the government can't enforce the use tax, especially on internet purchases. All they need to do is subpena your credit card records and your goose is cooked. Are they likely to do that, probably not. The same logic could be used for cheating on any of your taxes. As long as you don't steal much, you probably aren't worth going after.

In Maine it's so easy to pay it. All you do is take a small percentage of your income (percentage provided on the tax forms) and pay it. Then it doesn't matter, you are covered. Big ticket items (I don't remember the threshold) are not paid this way, and have to be declared separately. I don't agree with it, but I don't break the law because I don't agree with the law, unless it was something substantially against my principles.

And don't smugly think you will wait until there is a law passed, nationally, to require merchants to give your purchase records to State governments (already in some states). They could always make it retroactive for five years or so, and then require you pay back use taxes, plus interest and penalties, over that period.

State governments are going bankrupt. They will do ANYTHING they need to do to stay afloat. The best way to avoid paying taxes is to vote for people that are looking for ways to make the government solvent through methods that don't involve increased taxation, not cheating on your taxes.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,472,880 times
Reputation: 17560
Quote:
Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
... In Maine it's so easy to pay it. All you do is take a small percentage of your income (percentage provided on the tax forms) and pay it. Then it doesn't matter, you are covered. ...
Sounds like an income tax, not a sales tax.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,472 posts, read 2,610,066 times
Reputation: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
Sounds like an income tax, not a sales tax.
No. If you did shop only locally, then you owe no tax. Or, if you made just a couple purchases where no sales tax was paid, you would just pay the actual sales tax as use tax. But, most of us do a lot of internet purchasing, and it's just easier (and usually cheaper) to pay the default amount when paying their state income taxes.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Eastport, Maine
1,158 posts, read 2,121,891 times
Reputation: 1116
Brokerman....I remember Western Auto, in fact when I was a teenager, I worked part-time while in high school. I needed tires for my car, and didn't have the cash to buy a whole set. Western Auto opened an account for me at 17 years of age, and I became a loyal customer. No one else would help a 17 year old like that. I paid for the tires, and then continued to buy all my auto needs from them. They had a garage in the rear, and I let them do all the work on my car, well, what I couldn't do myself.

There are still a few of them around, but I think they were bought by OTASCO (Oklahome Tire and Supply Company). They also operated Economy Auto stores too.

Those were the good old days....
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:10 PM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,855,527 times
Reputation: 1244
Quote:
Originally Posted by maine4.us View Post
hum....well...I bet when you did all that driving that gas wasn't $4 a gallon either. Let me clarify, I buy what I can locally, but, it just isn't available.

Things I can't buy locally: socks, underwear, a winter coat, A TV set, blank CD/DVD's, a bicycle, shades, a lamp.....etc.etc.etc.

Why would I drive almost 200 miles to buy these items? I may sound snarky here, but it isn't the 1700's anymore. I grew up in where we used the Sears and Roebuck catalog too, it wasn't just Sears back then.

You are correct, I should save the receipts, but I didn't know we had a use tax, but I am not surprised as Maine taxes everything but the air we breathe.

I suspect that Maine was doing much better back then when you were younger. Eastport had all those things that I mentioned years ago, at least the ones that had been invented, but now, it doesn't. I'm not putting the town down either. I like it, that is why I moved here.

A note about Marden's; how many mom and pop shops still survive in an area around a Mardens? I would venture to say not many. I had a business, and did quite well, until Walmart came, end of story as they say. Small merchants cannot compete with national chains.
Why would you drive 200 miles to get the items? maybe because you enjoy day or weekend trips(?) No, it isn't the 1700s and it's not just Sears now; I'm pretty sure that back in the 1700s they were riding horses or traveling by horse and carriage so they didn't have to buy gas. However, they still had consumer needs and found a way to fill them or go without. My relatives have managed to survive and somehow procure needed items living in Washington County for over 250 years...that includes 1700s, 1800's, 1900's, and now the 21st Century. When I was growing up (pre-Internet) we drove to Bangor once a month to shop for things we couldn't get in Ellsworth--Maine way of life...requires some planning ahead which is a new way of thinking for those who aren't used to it.

As a child, my mom and her family walked most places so I'm sure they didn't walk to Ellsworth or Bangor or Portland for their consumer needs. Life in Maine has always been a struggle economically. I don't believe the overall economy of Maine has changed much. It's still a tough place to make a living. I'm surmising that you are retired so you're not really trying to make a living....just living in Eastport. The amount of money you have to live on is most likely higher than the average income of someone still working in Washington County.

Even 35 years ago, not so many national chains in Maine. Someone let national chains "in" because they were wanted. It's sad to see mom and pop businesses shut down. That's just part of the free enterprise system. One person's loss is another person's opportunity. Marden's may be a small chain, but it's a MAINE business. When anyone moves to Maine he/she needs an attitude of accepting the Maine way of life. You've heard of it.... "Maine the way life should be." You may not be putting the small city of Eastport down, but you are complaining about its shopping options--lack of stores to buy certain items you want, lack of mom and pop businesses, etc. You don't want to spend money on gas to drive 200 miles (would make a nice weekend trip especially in the fall). Are you willing to pay more (if necessary) for items to support Maine businesses? (no need to tell me--just something to think about)

You have the Internet which allows you to place orders and spend nothing on gas so hush with your complaining already. You can order online from some Maine businesses. One example, L. L. Bean (please don't tell me they're too big for you to buy from them.) Here's a website of Maine businesses for you. Maine Made: America's Best If I sound snarky, just following your lead. You could take a day trip to Ellsworth (take a friend and get them to pay half on gas) and visit the L.L. Bean outlet and Reny's, shop at Friends and Family Market or the IGA Trenton Marketplace (take a big cooler), visit the Sears hometown store, stop in Machias or Columbia Falls at Ace Hardware and check out the bicycles....maybe stay an extra day and go to Bar Harbor, drive the Loop Road, take some pics... just a suggestion. If they're still open on your next trip to Ellsworth stop at the mom and pop business known as Jordan's Snackbar......yum yum... could expand the trip to Bangor and take the airline home enjoying the scenery along the way. This trip sounds like a lot of fun to me.

When gas prices were 29 cents a gallon in the 1960's, incomes were considerably lower as well. I agree with you that $4 gas prices are WAY too high and I try to make myself feel better about them by saying, it could be worse--look at CA ($5.99 a gallon). Just eleven years ago, gas was around $1.29 a gallon. In December 2008, it briefly fell to $1.45 a gallon.

There are other states that try to collect tax on Internet purchases after the purchase rather than at the time of the purchase so why would or should Maine be any different.

Sometimes I think the "from aways" want Maine to have lots of mom and pop businesses because it fits their Maine fantasy or something they saw in a movie. They want shopping conveniences but the experience of living in a Thomas Kinkade or Norman Rockwell painting. I have said previously I support Maine mom and pop businesses....sad to see any of them go out out of business.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Eastport, Maine
1,158 posts, read 2,121,891 times
Reputation: 1116
Sometimes I think the "from aways" want Maine to have lots of mom and pop businesses because it fits their Maine fantasy or something they saw in a movie. They want shopping conveniences but the experience of living in a Thomas Kinkade or Norman Rockwell painting. I have said previously I support Maine mom and pop businesses....sad to see any of them go out out of business.

Sometimes I think people should know a person a little better before making blanket statements. They should also refrain from reading things into others posts that just aren't there.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
10,265 posts, read 10,376,934 times
Reputation: 6930
These "volunteer" taxes have existed in some other states for years. They have probably been on the books longer than people are aware. They say something like "you owe the state the tax due on purchases where none was collected at the time of the sale."
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,487 posts, read 6,424,991 times
Reputation: 9378
Yep, "Sales & Use Tax", generally written together on the books, been around a long time. Many people have no idea of the 'use' portion, most(?) of those that do just ignore it- "catch me, if you can". State can't just toss subpoenas around looking for credit card accounts and statements, like the IRS can't blanket subpoena banks looking for accounts of people they want to lien. Sounds like a fishing expedition to me.

Typically, if you run a business that sells products in a state that charges a sales tax, you are supposed to get a 'Sales & Use Tax' certificate and you are responsible for remitting the sales taxes collected to the state on a periodic basis. Companies that do not have a physical presence in a state that levies a sales tax are not required to get a certificate or collect taxes on purchases shipped to that state. There are *some* companies which, even though they lack the physical presence, will collect the taxes and remit them (Amway, for one).
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