Should municipalities be able to add a sales tax?

Posted March 02, 2009, at 2:25 p.m.

Rep. Elsie Flemings, D-Bar Harbor, is proposing a bill that would allow municipalities to add 1 percent or 2 percent to the state lodging and meal taxes, and possibly other transactions. The revenue would be shared with the towns. Is this a good idea? Will it help service center communities raise revenue to off-set the costs of serving as a region’s commercial and government services hub? Or would the tax ultimately hurt sales in the municipality? If the tax is limited to lodging, will most of it be borne by out-of-state visitors? Or will it discourage tourism?