More Hidden Taxes in Budget

More Hidden Taxes in Budget

June 12, 2007 Posted by J. Scott Moody - No Comments

See Appendix C here for a full list.
The “Maine Milk Commission – Target Milk Prices” raises $4,557,425 over the biennium and the “Changes in the Milk Handling Fee” raises $3,569,143 over the biennium. Now, these two items may not fully qualify as “tax increases,” but I point them out because I was shocked by the tremendous amount of government regulation over the milk industry. It can’t be fully articulated on this blog, but check it out for yourself here. Whatever you want to call it, “free-market” it is not.
More disturbingly, are the 15 “Enforcement” items on the list totaling $12,962,000 in revenue over the biennium. Items such as ” Sales Tax Enforcement – non-Maine businesses doing business in Maine,” or “Sales Tax Enforcement – delinquent income and sales tax.” Now, I’m all for enforcing the law but there are two points of concern:
First, how do you book collections before the enforcement takes place? To a large degree, these amounts are, at best, a guesstimate, or, at worst, a budget gimmick. If this money is truly there, it should be booked in the next budget after it has been collected, not before.
Secondly, these amounts will create quotas that officials at Maine Revenue Service will feel compelled to reach–whether the money is actually there or not. How many Maine taxpayers will be subjected to unnecessary audits in order to reach these quotas?