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Maine State Senator Wants To Exempt Textbooks From State Sales Tax

January 27, 2020

A proposal in the Maine Legislature would offer a small way to reduce the price of school textbooks.

Maine state Senator Rebecca Millett (D-Cape Elizabeth) has proposed a bill (LD 1914) that would exempt school textbooks from state sales tax in order to make them less expensive, according to The Associated Press.

She noted that in the state, the cost of textbooks spiked by about 90 percent from 2006 to 2016, so the proposal would offer a modest savings. The current sales tax rate in Maine is 5.5 percent.

In the proposed legislation, textbook is defined as “any book or book substitute that a student uses as a text or text substitute in a class or program in the school the student regularly attends.”

According to The Associated Press, Maine is the only one of the six New England states that has a sales tax on textbooks.

In her proposal, Millett cites a 2014 survey conducted by the Public Interest Research Group featuring responses from more than 2,000 students where around two-thirds of them say they have skipped out on buying or renting a textbook because of the cost.




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