THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE!
Steeped along the 5,500 miles of Maine’s coastline is some of New England’s most spectacular scenery. The rustic beauty of Maine is maintained by the 457 cities and towns that take great care in preserving the cleanliness and beauty of the land. Maine’s natural growth helps attract many professional, career-minded individuals who integrate well into communities of local fishermen and native folk.
Maine abounds in natural resources, with 17 million acres of forestland and 2,000 islands. The state also boasts 6,000 lakes and ponds and more than 542,000 acres of state and national parks. Included in Maine’s environment is the 92-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Acadia National Park (the second most-visited in the United States) and Baxter State Park (home of mile-high Mt. Katahdin and the northern end of the Appalachian Trail). Also, the Gulf of Maine is home to three puffin breeding colonies. Maine could aptly be called the Beacon State. Sixty-three lighthouses stand watch along the rocky shore, from Whaleback at the mouth of the Piscataqua River in the south, to West Quoddy Head in the north at the border of the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
Maine’s economy is as diverse as its natural assets. Strong in traditional mainstays of the New England economy-harvesting, fishing, lumber and wood products, paper and allied products, leather and leather goods—Maine’s growing manufacturing industries are wedded to high technology: microelectronics, aircraft components and ultra-precision machining. Growth in non-manufacturing industries is largely due to expanding tourism, insurance and information services, and retail trade. Maine is responsible for raising 99 percent of America’s low-bush blueberries. The state’s potato industry ranks 7th in acreage and 10th in production on the national scale. Its fishing industry is nationally famed; more than 47 million pounds of lobster were harvested in 1998. In the same year, Maine fishermen attained an all-time record for harvesting a total of approximately 2.1 billion pounds of shellfish and fin fish valued at $277 million.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The first Europeans to settle in Maine established the Popham Colony in 1607–the same year that America’s first permanent settlement in Jamestown was founded. The Popham Colony failed, but by the early 1620s, a number of settlements existed along the coast including York, which became America’s first chartered town in 1641. Originally part of Massachusetts, residents of the area began to press for statehood following the War of 1812.
In 1820 Maine was allowed to join the Unionas a free state, one rooted in political independence, religious freedom and popular control of government. At the time of statehood, Maine’s population had reached nearly 300,000. Today Maine is home to more than 1.2 million people. When the state separated from Massachusetts, Augusta was chosen as its capital after months of debate. Governor Enoch Lincoln and his Executive Council commissioned Charles Bullfinch, the noted Boston architect, to design the State House. The center of state government, the Capitol houses both the executive and legislative branches. The governor is popularly elected and is limited to two consecutive four-year terms. Maine’s legislature consists of a 35-member Senate and 151-member House of Representatives.
Maine is a four-season state, and it is one of the healthiest in the nation. Its agreeable summer temperatures average 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures average 20 degrees. An accumulation of 60-90 inches of snow is the annual average, usually after mid-December. A higher snowfall inland is a plus for the region’s abundance of ski resorts.
The majority of tax contributors to Maine’s general revenues come from the sales and use tax and the individual income tax. Other taxes include taxes on motor fuel, cigarettes, inheritances, property and real estate transfers.
General Sales and Use Tax: 5%
Gas Tax: 22 cents/gallon
Telecommunications: Property Tax: Dependent on
town or municipality
Alcohol: 7% when served in
6% when purchased in store
Auto Rentals: 10% for less than one year
Low Energy Fuels: 18 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel: 20 cents/gallon
Personal Income: 2.0 - 8.5%
Cigarettes: $1 on a pack of 20
Average Property Tax Rate (1997):
LICENSE & REGISTRATION
New residents must apply for a Maine driver’s license within 30 days of relocating. The new resident must present and surrender a valid out-of-state license or one that has expired within the last five years and take an eye examination. Applications may be obtained at some town halls or motor vehicle offices. Persons under the age of 21 may apply for a driver’s license having reached the age of 16, provided that they have completed an approved driver’s education course, held their learner’s permit for at least three months, and completed 35 hours of practice driving with their permit, including five hours of nighttime driving. Persons 18-20 years of age do not have to complete a driver’s education course, but all other provisions apply.To register a vehicle, an excise tax is paid to the town or city of residence. The town may be able to issue the plates and registration. If not, the registration form and title application should be taken to a motor vehicle office for completion.In addition, licenses for hunting, fishing, boats and off-road vehicles are required.
Maine State House
Augusta, ME 04333
Maine Department of
Maine Office of Tourism
Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Department of Inland
Fisheries and Wildlife