Maine High Earner and Pot Tax Measures Headed for Recount

The Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Weekly State Tax Report filters through current state developments and analyzes those critical to multistate tax planning.

By Adrianne Appel

A Maine ballot measure to tax the state’s top earners and another to legalize recreational marijuana are headed for recounts after both won by tiny margins.

Two groups opposed to the ballot measures officially requested recounts on Wednesday, the Maine Secretary of State’s office said.

The recounts will take 4 to 5 weeks, because many ballots cast in Maine’s smaller towns are hand counted, Kristen Schulze Muszynski, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office, told Bloomberg BNA on Tuesday.

Taxing High Earners.

The tax initiative won by a .0126% margin, the Secretary of State’s office said. The office’s unofficial results show that 383,449 people voted for the measure and 373,913 voted against.

Maine residents with incomes of $200,000 or more would be subject to an additional 3 percent income tax under the measure, which was authored by teachers and those who support them.

The tax would net an estimated $123.8 million in 2017 and be used to fund public education, especially schools in poorer districts, the Maine Education Association has said.

Marijuana Legalization

The marijuana legalization measure won by .54% the Secretary of State’s office said.

The marijuana proposal would impose a 10 percent tax on retail sales of the drug for recreational purposes. The initiative would bring an estimated $15 million in tax revenue to Maine in 2018, when it would be fully implemented.