Our View: Law would level playing field between communities, big retailers

Portland Press Herald

Since 2015, large retailers in Maine have lowered their valuations by more than $16 million combined using this strategy, costing cities and towns hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue, according to a report from the Maine Monitory. Hundreds of millions of dollars more in property value appeals are waiting to be adjudicated.

A 2019 report from Sarah Austin of the left-leaning Maine Center for Economic Policy found that 17 of the 25 communities with the highest retail sales had been the target of appeals, with requests for abatements averaging a 34% reduction. Since then, more have been filed, including four in Augusta alone, with Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot and Lowe’s all seeking tax breaks.

Click here to read the full op-ed, first published March 14, 2022, in the Portland Press Herald.