Maine Fireworks Sales Going Off With a Bang
Fireworks sales across the state of Maine are going off like firecrackers and skyrocketing far beyond what lawmakers ever anticipated when they legalized fireworks last year for the first time in over six decades.
According to Maine Revenue Services, firework sales have brought in some $380,000 in sales taxes within the last year. That’s a substantial figure considering the agency only projected they would generate somewhere in the neighborhood of $120,000.
What this means is that fireworks stores have experienced nearly $8 million in sales over the past year, leaving Maine Revenue Services thinking that they may have shot off their initial projections a bit conservatively, considering there was no reference point for them to jump off from.
Fireworks stores all over Maine have been popping up since fireworks became legal at the beginning of 2012 – a 1949 law had banned them. Since then, the Maine fire marshal’s office has reported nearly 20 stores across the state - all with a wealth of employees.
Some fireworks store owners say that legalizing fireworks has been a good thing because fireworks were finding their way into Maine anyway, and without the added benefit of creating jobs or generating tax revenue.
However, some store owners are concerned that the state may decide to ban fireworks again because they have been labeled as dangerous. Yet, the state fire marshal reports that there were few fireworks related accidents last July 4.