PORTLAND, Maine — Online retail giant Amazon plans to start collecting sales tax April 1 on items sold to Maine residents, according to a report by WMTW.

State officials with the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development confirmed the decision late Monday, saying it would put Maine businesses on a level playing field with sellers on the online marketplace.

“Amazon’s decision to collect and remit sales tax to the state of Maine is an important first step in leveling the playing field,” George Gervais, commissioner of the department, said.

The change will add 5.5 percent to the price of items sold through Amazon, and the decision follows similar moves in other states. Maine is one of only six states where Amazon does not collect and send sales tax to state government.

The company began collecting sales tax from 10 new states in the first quarter of 2017. A spokesperson for Amazon did not confirm the change to the Bangor Daily News or The Associated Press as of Monday afternoon. It has not yet added Maine to the list of 39 states where it collects sales taxes.

A spokesman for Maine Revenue Services said he could not confirm the decision because the agency is “prohibited from commenting on specific tax situations of both individuals and businesses.”

The state in 2013 estimated it was losing as much as $28 million per year from unreported sales tax on online purchases.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.