As co-chairwoman of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development, I see the difficulties that Maine’s small business confront on a day-to-day basis.

Maine has strict and burdensome regulations, high taxes and, at times, an anti-business attitude.

As state legislators, we have an opportunity to fix one injustice that hurts our state’s brick-and-mortar businesses. It’s called E-Fairness, and addresses a disadvantage under which Maine’s small businesses operate, as compared to out-of-state online retailers that sell products online and don’t collect sales tax on them.

Amazon.com and other large online retailers who don’t have a footprint in Maine have a competitive advantage over Maine’s small businesses, and the state is missing out on about $30 million in revenue each year. That $30 million could help solve some of our state’s budget problems.

We need to step up and fix this inequity. We need to give Maine businesses a level playing field, when it comes to sales taxes, instead of fighting against these out-of-state corporations that have no interests here.

Until this inequity is fixed, we will continue to lose jobs and revenue.

Rep. Kerri Prescott, R-Topsham


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