PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Ben Franklin once said "nothing is certain except death and taxes", and while that may be true,where you live and how you live can have a dramatic impact on both of those things.
Mainers have long been among the most taxed in the country, andon Tuesdaythe tax rates in the Pine Tree State went up. The sales tax increased half a percent to 5.5 percent and the lodging and meals tax jumped from 7 to 8 percent.
The reason for the increase was to help close a substantial structural gap in the state budget over the next two years but what does this increase mean for the average Mainer?
Folks heading to work may have noticed something different when they grabbed their morning coffee,the price they paid for that cup of Joe was just a tiny bit more.A coffee that was $2.68 with tax is now $2.70. That means the tax on a meal which cost $50 is now $4 -- 50 cents more than in September.
Maine Revenue Services,which collects the money Mainer's owe in taxes,estimates the one percent tax increase on meals and lodging will generate about $48 million in additional revenue for the state over the next year and a half.
That's not the only tax that went up. Maine's sales tax on everything from clothing to cars increased from 5 to 5.5 percent. The tax hike makes a $300 appliance $1.50 more expensive,and makes the sales tax on a $15,000car $125more.
Maine Revenue Servicesestimates the half percent increase will bring in an additional $135 millionuntil the tax increases expire on June 30th of 2015.
So what does this tax increase mean to the average Maine family? Maine Revenue estimatesit will cost a family of four about $100 to $150 a year.