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Bill Seeks Library Tax Exemption

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ A bill that lawmakers have sent to Republican Gov. Paul LePage would exempt a statewide network of libraries from the state's sales tax.

    Democratic Sen. Geoff Gratwick's bill _ passed by the Maine House and Senate last week _ would exempt the Maine InfoNet Collaborative from the sales tax. The collaborative allows public and school libraries to share resources like a statewide digital catalog as well as digital downloads of audiobooks and e-books.

    Libraries are already tax exempt, but the Maine InfoNet Collaborative was recently told that it would have to pay sales taxes on catalog software and other digital materials it purchases because the consortium doesn't share that tax-free status. 

    Senate Democrats say residents borrow an average of 30,000 digitial books each month through the collaborative.