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Maine Aircraft Owners Face Confusion Over Excise Taxes

Local Governments Now Collecting Taxes, But Not Sure How Much To Charge

A shift in Maine tax law has aircraft owners in limbo over how much excise tax they will be asked to pay to local governments.

Up until this year, the state has collected the taxes on airplanes registered in Maine, and sent all but a $10 registration fee to the county or municipality that owned and maintained the airport. But the local news site in Hancock County, ME, reports that the state determined that it was costing more to collect and distribute the taxes than it brought in for doing so. The legislature changed the tax code to require the local governments to collect the tax.

Hancock County CFO Phil Roy told the website that the state has not offered much guidance as to how much they should charge aircraft owners. He took matters into his own hands, making a determination that the tax should be based on the value of the aircraft. For new aircraft, the county would assess a tax of .009 percent of the Aircraft Bluebook Price. The tax would decrease on a sliding scale, with machines five years old or older paying a tax of .003 percent of the value.

Roy sent a letter to 91 people who the county has determined keep aircraft at Hancock County-Bar Harbor airport in Trenton, ME. In the letter, Roy explained the tax and how it would be calculated, saying their local municipality might assess the aircraft owners with personal property taxes on their aircraft if they did not pay the county excise tax.



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