Governor Paul LePage signed LD 1735 "An Act to Promote Jobs in the Motor Coach Industry by Providing a Sales Tax Exemption for Certain Buses," today. Governor LePage was joined by Senate President Kevin Raye, Legislators, and members of Maine's motor coach industry.
"This bill is another step toward reducing red tape in Maine, giving our job creators the flexibility they need to expand," said Governor LePage. "Maine businesses want a stable, and predictable regulatory environment, and clarifying a tax exemption will help Maine's motor coach industry leaders create jobs. I thank Senator Raye for his continued efforts in making Maine business friendly," continued the Governor.
This bill will help boost tourism and put cleaner, more fuel efficient buses on our roadways. It removes an unnecessary barrier for Maine bus companies that service cruise lines that make stops in the state. Currently under Maine law, in order to qualify for the sales and use tax exemption for a vehicle used in interstate commerce, the owner of a new bus has to prove the bus is used in interstate commerce more than 80% of the time in the two years following its purchase.
The new law will allow new buses of at least 47 passengers to qualify for the exemption, provided that other requirements of the statute are met, and then can be used to improve the experience for visitors in Maine.
"As a result of my bill, Maine businesses operating motor coaches will now be able to better determine how to use their equipment without fear of paying penalties to the state," said Senator Raye, who sponsored the bill. "This also will help protect Maine jobs as it removes any incentives for visiting cruise lines to hire outside companies to provide the service offered by Maine companies. I am pleased that the Legislature was able to unanimously approve this important clarification, and that Governor LePage has signed it into law," continued Raye. The Governor was joined by industry leaders, including Scott Riccio, President and Owner of Northeast Tour & Charter Bus Co. in Auburn, Maine.
"Today, we start a new chapter that benefits these companies and the passengers who hire our equipment right here at home. We can start using our newly purchased motor coaches for cruise ship visits, senior citizen tours, and convention visitors," said Scott Riccio. "We would like to thank the Maine Legislature for their unanimous vote, Senator Raye for his staunch support, and Governor LePage for his signature of LD 1735," continued Riccio.