When the Editorial Board endorsed higher taxes in the form of a local option sales tax, they forgot something — if there are no sales, no tax will be collected (“Our View: Maine should allow local tax option,” Dec. 4).

Higher sales taxes will just give consumers another reason to shop online, as if they don’t have enough reasons already. If a new car costs a few dollars more in Portland than it does in Westbrook, some buyers will go where they can save. You have to remember the dealer doesn’t make anything on the first sales of the month; those pay the bills. It’s the last few sales of the month that make it worthwhile to be in business.

What a local option sales tax gives with one hand it may well take away with the other hand. Drive enough sales off and you drive the business off. Be careful what you wish for — you may get it.

Doug Thomas


(The writer is a former Republican state senator and member of the Taxation Committee.)

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