Sales Tax Exemption on Broadcast Equipment

Before you buy any new equipment — Check with Efficiency Maine to see if it qualifies for a cash-back incentive for energy efficiency. All Efficiency Maine incentives must be pre-approved before you make your purchase.

Maine law grants an exemption from sales tax for machinery and equipment “in the case of sales occurring after June 30, 2007, [used] in the generation of radio and television broadcast signals by broadcast stations regulated under 47 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 73.” (36 M.R.S.A. 1760 (31)) This means that, if a piece of equipment is integral to your station’s over-the-air signal, it is exempt from Maine sales tax. Here is Maine Revenue Service’s letter detailing how the exemption is to be applied. In order to certify to a vendor that a piece of equipment is tax exempt, a station should download, complete, and give to the vendor the exemption certificate which is the last page of this Tax Bulletin. Check Box C on the exemption certificate. It’s a good idea to read over the Bulletin for some general information on how the manufacturing exemption is applied.

Also, if you are paying municipal personal property tax on your broadcast equipment, it may be eligible for reimbursement under the state’s Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement, or BETR, program. Here is the link to the table of contents for the BETR law. You should read the law carefully, as there are certain steps that must be taken in order to apply for the reimbursement, and check with your accountant or tax advisor as to the applicability of BETR to a particular piece of equipment.