I can’t help but wonder if we’ve gone a bit crazy lately with our rush to tax Nestle for the water it bottles in Maine. In our zeal to create more revenue to spend, it seems our legislators will do anything to make a buck.
Water is a resource, but should we tax Nestle for developing that resource? If yes, why limit it to Nestle? There are other bottlers here in Maine. Let’s also tax the paper companies and other manufacturers for taking water out of the system. Lastly, let’s tax everyone on town water or with a well; after all, they’re taking away a natural resource from our state.
Let’s face it, in Maine, no one pays for water, currently. While you might think you get a water bill from the city or town, in reality your bill is for delivery of the product and the cost to test the water and add those pesky chemicals required by the federal and state governments. No one actually pays for the water, including Nestle.
In fact, I think Nestle could argue the water in the bottle is free. When you buy the product, you’re only paying for everything from acquisition to production, delivery, marketing and sales, plus markups from each level of retail operations along the way.
Instead of being in such a rush to tax them, why not simply have a bottling fee to allow regulatory agencies to monitor operations and ensure the resource is not over-utilized?
Robert A. Reed, Lewiston