Fighting rising property taxes
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Maine tax tidbit: blueberry tax

Maine flag Does your state have an official berry? Maine does. It's the wild blueberry.

With an average production of more than 75 million pounds a year, Maine produces the most wild blueberries of any state in the U.S. or province in Canada. In fact, the state produces 99 percent of the wild blueberries in the United States.

So that Maine remains competitive with the blueberries cultivated elsewhere in the U.S. and the wild blueberries from Canada, research efforts at the University of Maine provide information and educational outreach to growers.

The program is supported not only through state allocations to the University's budget, but also by a special grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and -- wait for it -- a wild blueberry tax.

As the statute (Title 36: TAXATION; Part 7: SPECIAL TAXES; Chapter 701: BLUEBERRY TAX) notes:

The production and marketing of wild blueberries is one of the most important agricultural industries of the State, and this chapter is enacted into law to conserve and promote the prosperity and welfare of this State and of the wild blueberry industry of this State by fostering research and extension programs, by supporting the development of promotional opportunities and other activities related to the wild blueberry industry.

So remember that the next time you're Down East, snacking on one of the state's most revered natural crops. Your 3/4 of a cent per pound tax payment on fresh blueberries is helping keep Maine's prime blueberry industry in the black.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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