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Maine Cookie Tax Crumbles

Tue., Jan. 24, 1995

The long arm of Maine’s “snack tax” doesn’t extend to Girl Scout cookies, a judge ruled Monday, chiding the state for bouncing around on whether to impose it.

Justice Donald Alexander said the state was “arbitrary and capricious” when it changed its interpretation of the 6 percent tax and extended it to Girl and Boy Scouts.

Assistant Attorney General Dennis Doiron said he will confer with the tax assessor’s office Tuesday before deciding whether to appeal.

The judge noted that the state originally taxed the cookies at the wholesale level and exempted the door-to-door retail sales because they were considered “casual” sales.

Last year, the state conceded wholesale sales were tax-exempt and refunded the tax, plus interest, to the Girl Scouts. Then it decided to tax retail sales of the cookies, citing the scope of the sale, its recurring nature and the $3 million a year it raises.

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