As inflation grew from coast to coast in the United States, one of the places in Maine where residents were hardest hit with price increases was at the grocery store. Grocery bills seemingly doubled overnight for some families leading to changes in how many of people shopped and what foods they purchased. It's also led to an interesting question; are all groceries taxed in Maine?


Maine Taxes Most Items Bought at Grocery Stores But Not All

Maine residents are fully aware of the state's sales tax. But for a lot of people, there's a gray area when it comes to what is exempt from the sales tax, especially at grocery stores. According to TaxJar, Maine deems food "staples" to be exempt from any sales tax. That includes major proteins like beef, chicken, pork and fish. Other sales tax exempt items include fruit and vegetables, bread and select dairy items as well.

Generic raw meat

Maine Taxes Additional Foods More Frequently Than Other States

Several other states in the country have all encompassing tax laws that make most food purchased at grocery stores exempt from any tax. That can include everything from potato chips to granola bars. Maine isn't one of those states. Anything that can be deemed a "snack" in Maine is likely to face sales tax. That can include everything from beef jerky to canned nuts. This was a major change in Maine back in 2016.

Bag of Potato Chips

Be Aware of the Extra Tax For Prepared Meals

One of the pain points the average consumer might still be unaware of is the additional tax levied on "prepared meals". Maine currently carries a 5.5% sales tax on most items sold in grocery stores but prepared meals like sandwiches, hot food items and even a salad bar are taxed at an 8% rate. This also includes desserts, like buying a cake at the grocery store bakery.

Ham and Cheese sandwich cut in half on wooden table


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