The Brookings Institution study and GrowSmart Maine’s references to Maine’s lodging industry as a “cheap date” insult the men and women who drive Maine’s largest industry – tourism.
The private sector tourism industry is well represented by organizations like the Maine Tourism Association who, with others, represents some 4,800 businesses in Maine. The Brookings Institution contacted none of these organizations during the development of the study.
They are recommending that we increase the lodging tax by 3 percent so we can borrow money and establish more bureaucracy. The challenge continues to be taxes and spending. Their rationale is that this is one tax in Maine that isn’t the highest in the nation and therefore we should raise it.
It is simply insane to continue on a path that destroys even more business initiative by increasing the lodging tax. It only puts the one industry that is thriving in our state at a competitive disadvantage.
The tax and spend mentality in Maine must be fixed. Additional tourism taxation only creates more obstacles for Maine businesses. The Brookings Institution may be well thought of but this proposal is not well thought out.
It is an insult to the entrepreneurs, investors and professionals who make Maine’s largest industry such a revenue producer for the state to be referred to as a “cheap date.” Of most importance, the visitor to Maine cannot be expected to support our out-of-control tax and spending policies.
Chief Executive Officer
Maine Tourism Association