New Food Taxes for Maine Residents

A two-year, $6.7 billion budget plan contains modest property and income tax cuts, but sales tax on more foods
Grocery Store

‘Grocery staples,’ which are not subject to sales tax, are defined as food products ordinarily consumed for human nourishment.

Beginning January 1, Maine residents will have to pay state sales tax on hundreds of food and beverage products that were previously tax-exempt, according to Portland Press Herald. This change is part of a two-year, $6.7 billion budget plan which cuts property and income tax for residents. In exchange, more foods are subject to the existing 5.5 percent sales tax for non-exempt grocery items and eight percent sales tax for prepared meals.

WGME points out strange discrepancies in what has now been deemed exempt and non-exempt. Maine’s ‘six-doughnut rule,’ in which pre-prepared bakery items are taxed unless you buy six or more, applies to bagels but not doughnuts. Peanut butter and raw nuts won’t be taxed, but processed or treated nuts (e.g. salting, spicing, smoking, etc.) will be taxed. Jam, jellies, and preserves remain tax-exempt but Marshmallow Fluff and Nutella are considered taxable ‘confectionary spreads.’


A full list of the changes can be found here.