Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Maine Girl Scouts Resist Snack Tax on Cookie Sales

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Maine Girl Scouts Resist Snack Tax on Cookie Sales

Article excerpt

The state of Maine is trying to collect a few crumbs from the Girl Scouts, slapping a 6 percent "snack tax" on sales of Thin Mints, Trefoils, Samoas and Do-si-dos.

The Girl Scouts say it's a half-baked idea to tax a nonprofit group.

"We're just a bunch of girls trying to raise money for our organization, and we don't need the tax people picking on us," said Julia Payne, 13, of Houlton, Maine.

In 1991, the state imposed a snack tax on cookies, chips and candy bars. Initially, the Bureau of Taxation wanted to tax Girl Scout cookies on the wholesale level but backed down and returned $100,000 to the group.

Now the state argues that the Girl Scouts must pay taxes at the retail level, because they're running a major retail enterprise, more than just a "casual sale."

"A casual sale is hit or miss," state Tax Assessor John LaFaver said Sunday. "Maybe they do it one year and not the next. It's unpredictable, like a lawn sale type of thing."

But Jane Hartman, a lawyer for the Kennebec Girl Scout Council, said LaFaver was misinterpreting the law. …

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