LEWISTON — About 40 people gathered at the Lewiston Multi-Purpose Center on Thursday night to listen to a presentation by a group seeking to repeal the new state tax law.

The law lowers the state income tax for most Mainers from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent. The change is paid for largely through an expansion of the state’s 5 percent sales tax to items that were previously not taxed, such as labor on auto repairs and movie tickets. It also increases the state’s meals and lodging tax, from 7 percent to 8.5 percent.

The group, Still Fed Up With Taxes, is led by state Sen. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro. Local Rep. Dale Crafts, R-Lisbon, organized the event.

Albert DiMillo of South Portland, a retired accountant, made a slide-show presentation of his interpretation of the new law, which is slated to take effect next year, unless petition-gatherers can get 55,087 signatures by early September.

“It’s very hard to find somebody who doesn’t have a tax increase,” DiMillo said. “The law gives away millions to millionaires and raises taxes on the middle class.”

According to Maine Revenue Services, 87 percent of Maine’s
665,000 income tax filers would pay the state less in taxes.

DiMillo said no one is actually getting a tax cut.

“It’s all a joke; it’s all deceptive,” he said.

The reason many Maine newspapers endorsed the law in their editorial pages is because they “perhaps made a deal” to avoid becoming subject to the sales tax, DiMillo said.

“It doesn’t make sense who got taxed and who didn’t; it’s who had a better lobby,” he said.

Garrett Mason, director of administration for the Lewiston Maineiacs, said he was devastated when he learned of the law change. He calculated that it would cost his organization more than $100,000 a year in higher taxes.

“We just can’t handle that,” he said.

Tom Shields of Auburn said he found the meeting informative.

“It revealed a lot of the false promises,” he said. “(The organizers) have done an exemplary amount of work.”

Shields said he has been collecting signatures for about two weeks and has gathered about 15 so far. He said he is optimistic the group will reach its goal.

Auburn Mayor John Jenkins was also at the meeting.

“I came to get information,” he said. “You want more people to have more information.”

Trahan said the group has struggled to raise money to help with the signature effort but grassroots support has been strong. 

“I’ve never had an easier time gathering signatures,” he said, adding that he has worked on seven petition campaigns. Informational sessions have been scheduled across the state.

[email protected]

Retired accountant Albert DiMillo of South Portland gives a presentation on the new tax law to several dozen people at the Multi-Purpose Center in Lewiston on Thursday night.

Retired accountant Albert DiMillo of South Portland gives a presentation on the new tax law to several dozen people at the Multi-Purpose Center in Lewiston on Thursday night.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.