Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Monday, August 22, 2005

Business in Maine

A recent BDN editorial examines the results of a Milken Institute study on the costs of doing business in different states.
A surprising finding in the report is that Maine's tax burden (state and local taxes as a percentage of personal income) ranks only 11th highest in the nation, with the numbers, according to the institute, coming from the U.S. Census Bureau. The four other measures used to conclude that Maine ranks 19th overall on the cost of business were as follows: wages (ranked 40th highest); electricity costs (11th); industrial rent (30th); and office rent (36th). [...]

For those keeping score, the new state with the 16th highest cost for doing business is neighboring New Hampshire. (If only it were more like Maine and kept its taxes lower.) [...]

Whether Maine ranks 19th, 16th or 12th, a result of the Milken report should be to get Maine to stop blaming high taxes solely for its lack of business activity. Portland, with the same state taxes as everywhere else in Maine and relatively high local taxes but a vibrant business climate suggests the limits of focusing so heavily on tax burden.

On a very related note, Rep. Benjamin Dudley (D - Portland) has the numbers behind BETR.

[I deleted the overly-long quote that was here - go read the whole article, it's worth it]

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