Hidden Taxes and Fees
As I mentioned in my first posting, tax transparency is a critical component of a good tax system. Without tax transparency, taxpayers have no way to judge whether or not the price of government is worth the benefits. Unfortunately, Maine’s tax system is anything but transparent. Perhaps the largest obstacle to tax transparency is the sheer number of taxes that are “on the books.” In order to shed light on this problem, MHPC created a section on the MHPC website that provide the details on a specific hidden tax or fee.
The goal is to highlight at least one new tax or fee per week and to keep a running count on the number of taxes we find. The count is important because not all taxes and fees are created equally–some are taxes and fees that are made up of a number of “smaller” taxes and fees. For example, the Special Fuel Tax is actully five taxes levied as Diesel, Propane, Methanol, Ethanol and Compressed Natural Gas taxes. As a result, the current count on the number of hidden taxes and fees stands at 6 (plus the gasoline tax highlighed last week). Stay tuned each week to discover the next “Hidden Tax or Fee.”