Amend the Maine Tax Laws

Last updated: Apr 15, 2018

Details about this bill
Category: Taxation
Status: Passed
Sponsor: Senator Dana Dow, Senate 13 - Lincoln County
Session: 128
Bill #: LD 1805

Position:

Monitoring.

UPDATE: This bill has an Ought to Pass as Amended report from the committee.

Summary:

This bill does the following:

Part A expands the provision for sellers required to register to collect and report sales taxes to include online real property rental platforms and those engaged in the facilitation of the rental of living quarters. Definitions for "room remarketer," "transient rental platform" and "facilitation of the rental of living quarters" are added. The definition of "sale price" is amended to include as consideration receipts by room remarketers and transient rental platform operators. The definition of "taxable service" is amended to include facilitation of the rental of living quarters in a hotel, rooming house or tourist or trailer camp. It restructures and reorganizes the section of law specifying the rate of sales tax. The clarification regarding the registration requirements for the rental of living quarters takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature. The changes apply to sales occurring on or after October 1, 2018;

Part B:

1. Limits insurance premium tax refunds to the amount of tax paid within the 3-year period immediately preceding the filing of a refund claim or audit. The provision is similar to that provided with respect to income tax refund claims; and

2. Prohibits the payment of interest on an overpayment of insurance premiums tax if the overpayment is refunded by the State Tax Assessor within 60 days of the taxpayer's filing of the claim with Maine Revenue Services. The provision is similar to that provided with respect to income tax refund claims;

Part C:

1. Allows the subtraction of pick-up contributions distributed to the taxpayer by the Maine Public Employees Retirement System in the form of a rollover from taxable income within 3 years beginning with the year of the rollover. The change applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018; and

2. Makes the credit for homestead modifications available in the tax year during which the certification of eligibility is made. Current law ties the credit to the year during which the qualified expenditures are paid, but the credit may be claimed only once the Maine State Housing Authority certifies to the State Tax Assessor that the expenditures incurred qualify for the credit. The change applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018;

Part D makes the following changes to the tax credit for major business headquarters expansions. It:

1. Clarifies that the information regarding revenue loss attributable to the tax credit reported by the State Tax Assessor to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters is not confidential taxpayer information. It also corrects a numbering conflict created when 2 public laws enacted the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 36, section 191, subsection 2, paragraph DDD;

2. Clarifies that a revocation of a certificate of approval or a certificate of completion due to ceasing operations of the headquarters also applies to a certificate held by a transferee;

3. Clarifies that the credit is available only to a certified applicant who has received a certificate of completion;

4. Clarifies that the required job threshold calculation includes the tax year for which the credit is currently being claimed, in addition to the tax years for which the credit has been claimed;

5. Clarifies that the amount recovered by the State when a certificate is revoked is a tax due in the taxable year during which the certificate is revoked and is subject to the collection and enforcement provisions contained in Title 36, Part 1, including the application of applicable interest and penalties;

6. Provides that, when determining the number of employees for eligibility for the credit, employees who are shifted to a qualified applicant's headquarters from an affiliated business in the State are not counted;

7. Removes the requirement that the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters aggregate data on employment levels and qualified investment amounts of certified applicants for each year;

8. Delays the State Tax Assessor's yearly reporting requirement until December 31st and clarifies that the report is for the tax year ending during the immediately preceding calendar year;

9. Defines the term "revenue loss" for the purposes of the State Tax Assessor's yearly reporting requirement and the confidentiality exception applying to the report; and

10. Adds rule-making authority for the commissioner and the State Tax Assessor;

Part E clarifies that the amount of sales tax revenue transferred to the Multimodal Transportation Fund is calculated after a reduction for the amount transferred to the Local Government Fund is made;

Part F aligns certain parts of the Unorganized Territory Educational and Services Tax lien foreclosure process with the municipal tax lien foreclosure process retroactively to October 1, 1935. It:

1. Authorizes the State Tax Assessor to issue a discharge of a tax lien mortgage on real estate after the prior owner's right of redemption has expired, unless the State has conveyed any interest based upon the title acquired from the affected lien;

2. Allows the State Tax Assessor to not perform certain inventory and reporting procedures with respect to real estate that is a permanent residence that has been acquired by the State through the tax lien foreclosure process; and

3. Authorizes the State Tax Assessor to convey real estate acquired by the State through the tax lien foreclosure process to the prior owner without further legislative authorization if the tax due on the real estate has been satisfied; and

Part G makes a technical clarification by repealing the provision regarding the new markets capital investment credit requiring the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services to enter into a memorandum of agreement. The memorandum is a nonbinding document with no substantive legal effect.